Ex-Bulawayo town clerk sucked into city land scandal

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

FORMER Bulawayo City Council town clerk, Mike Ndubiwa has been sucked into the Woodvale land scandal in the country’s second largest city.

Woodvale, which is part of council’s master plan, was acquired by the government in 2003.

Following its acquisition, five A2 farmers including Ndubiwa were resettled on the property which is situated along Joshua Mqabuko Airport road.

The Justice Tendai Uchena led Commission of Inquiry into the sale of State Land in and around urban areas since 2005, on Tuesday visited the property and expressed displeasure over the state of some of the structures now constructed on the site.

“We cannot have a situation where our visitors are greeted by goats and pigs. By putting this dilapidated structure, I wonder if he (Ndubiwa) is community conscious because he should have realised that he is letting the community down,” said Commissioner Andrew Mlalazi.

The commissioners took to task Matebeleland North provincial land officer, Posset Nkiwane on why the land ministry settled people in an area meant for urban expansion as well as adjacent to the airport.

“We want to know who approved settlement in an area meant for urban development. What will happen to the farmers if they start building expansions?” queried Uchena.

In response, Nkiwane said he was not aware that the farm was part of Bulawayo’s future developmental plans.

“I am not sure about the master plan. All I know is that the farm was gazetted in 2003 for A2 farmer’s resettlement,” Nkiwane said.

Council director for Engineering Services, Simela Dube also told the commission that the farm fell within the city’s 20 kilometre master plan radius. Apart from being earmarked for the city‘s developmental purposes, the farm also falls within the restricted zone because of its proximity to the airport.

The commission also visited Umvutshwa B farm.