By Mashonaland East Correspondent
Marondera: Eviction notices have been issued to over 200 families occupying houses allocated under the controversial Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle housing scheme in Marondera’s Elmswood area for failing to pay over $5 000 each to government.
The government is accusing the occupants of non-compliance with the offer terms and conditions.
In a letter to the affected residents, the local government secretary, George Magosvongwe said; “The Public Works and National Housing Department Mashonaland East province intends to repossess Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle Phase 2 Elmswood, Marondera, residential stands.
“This is due to non-compliance to offer terms and conditions by the original allotees. Any objections to the intended repossessions should be lodged at the office provincial public works and national housing director.”
Upon further inquiry at the provincial government offices, an official, who only identified himself as Murengwa, said each tenant owed $4 000 for ownership and another $1 200 for accrued rentals to the government.
“These people have not been paying anything to government since moving in around 2005/06,” Murengwa said.
However, the residents said it was unlawful for the government to demand the $5 200 from each tenant.
“The government is wrong in classifying us as lodgers because some of us have since installed electricity on our own,” one of the residents said.
The government has ordered the tenants to regularise their stay or face eviction within 30 days.
“Please take note that Elmswood mixed density residential stands are lease and hence beneficiaries are not allowed to sell or cede,” Magosvongwe’s letter further read.
The housing scheme was set up by the government in 2005 after it had demolished “illegal structures” across the country leaving nearly a million people homeless.