By Ndatenda Njanike
AT LEAST 16 000 residents of Tynwald South say they have been seriously affected by lack of proper planning by the Harare City Council, leaving the densely populated suburb without public schools, shops, clinics and other amenities.
The area was developed in 1996, but 24 years later, the residents are living without street lights and the roads are unnamed.
Tynwald South is just 500 meters away from President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Farm and is adjacent to Dzivaresekwa suburb.
According to the residents, they were allocated residential stands in 1996 through a housing scheme launched by CABS Building Society and most of them have completed constructing their houses.
However, the residents are not happy that the Harare City has been unable to provide basic amenities expected in any urban suburb.
According to Alex Imbayarwo, one of the residents in Tynwald South, land earmarked for construction of a public school was sold to a private developer who went on to build an elite private school at the site.
Impoverished children from the suburb are unable to attend the school due to high fees demanded. They are forced to walk more than five kilometres to public schools in Dzivaresekwa or Kuwadzana suburbs.
“The space that was meant for a public school was sold to a private developer who has since constructed an elite private school. Our children cannot attend that school because of the high fees,” said Imbayarwo.
“For the past 24 years, we have lived with no public amenities, not even a single public toilet, no public schools.”
The private school is accused of buying an adjacent piece of land designated for a public clinic and is now constructing boarding facilities for its students.
Last week, the residents managed to meet Harare mayor, Herbert Gomba at Town House where they raised their complaints with him.
However, on the issue of public spaces being sold to private developers, Gomba said the residents should have raised their objections before 30 days after advertisements were flighted notifying the public of proposed acquisition.
“Council’s hands are tied as the land sales and transfer were above board. However, as council, I promise you that we will find alternative land to construct a public school and clinic,” he said.
The residents also appealed to the mayor to find suitable land for the construction of a community hall, beer hall, recreational facilities, police station and for the installation of street lights as muggings and burglaries were on the increase in the suburb during the night.