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Chombo Orders Councils to Return Repossessed Houses, Stands


Former Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo
Former Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo says urban and rural councils should surrender houses and residential stands repossessed from aspiring home owners who failed to pay for them due to lack of money.

The state-controlled Herald newspaper quoted Mr. Chombo as saying the councils which were run by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formations from 2000 up to July this year, should have given residents at least 20 years to pay for the houses and residential stands.

He told the newspaper that councils should also extend payment periods and housing development deadlines of up to 20 years to allow struggling people to pay their dues.

Chombo recently ordered local authorities to write-off residents’ debts amounting to millions of dollars backdating to 2009.

He was not reachable for comment Saturday as his mobile phone was not being answered.

But Albert Mhlanga, Member of Parliament for Pumula in Zimbabwe’s second largest city, Bulawayo, said this directive is not workable.
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However, independent political analyst Livingstone Dzikira said Mr. Chombo’s directive can be implemented if councils work hand in hand with the affected people and their lawyers.
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