By Sharleen Mohammed
MORE than 200 families in Harare’s oldest township of Mbare have waited for over 40 years to be granted homeownership by the Harare City Council.
The families have since appealed for tenure from the city council to enable them to improve their dilapidated homes situated in the Joburg Lines.
One of the residents, John Muzivire said it was time residents were granted homeownership in order to improve their dwellings and livelihoods.
Muzivire told Newzimbabwe.com in an interview Monday that for years they have engaged the city council as residents but their efforts had been fruitless.
“I have lived here in Joburg Lines for almost 40 years now. Homeownership means owning our own houses as opposed to being council tenants where we are forced to share rooms,” he said.
“We divide that one room into sections, the first section is the living and TV room which doubles as kitchen plus two more sections divided by curtains as bedrooms for parents and the children.”
Brian Billiat another resident added: “The council should not give us conditions because we are struggling families and we appeal for ownership because we have rented these houses for a very long time paying hefty rentals despite the poor living conditions and failure for the council to maintain the houses.”
When contacted for a comment, the Harare City Council spokesperson Michael Chideme said: “Munhu akagara mumba memunhu nguva yakareba achi renta zvoreva here kuti wave nekodzero yekuita claim ownership? Ini ndikarenta imba yako for 50 years do I claim ownership of that house? No, I don’t think it works like that (A person cannot suddenly claim ownership of a property because they have rented for a number of years. The Council property must remain council property.)
“The houses are part of council income-generating ventures through rentals”.