Joy as General (Rtd) Constantino Chiwenga repeats his 2018 pledge

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VICE-PRESIDENT Constantino Chiwenga yesterday repeated his 2018 promise to pull down and replace Mbare’s dilapidated residential flats with modern structures, claiming government’s previous attempts were frustrated by the opposition-led Harare City Council.

Addressing a campaign rally in the city’s oldest and populous high-density suburb, Chiwenga said soon after the elections, the Zanu PF government would enact laws to bar opposition party-led councils from interfering with developmental programmes.

“I came here in 2018 and talked about Matapi and Shawasha flats saying that places like these together with Sakubva (Mutare), Mkoba (Gweru) and Makokoba (Bulawayo), need to be fixed.

“Plans came in for construction and Citizens Coalition of Change (CCC) denied the offer saying that ‘if you build those structures, you will take away our votes’.

“It is now a thing of the past. We gave them latitude, and we will evoke the law that when we want to construct better housing for our people, we will do it whether the council likes it or not,” he said.

Chiwenga called on Zanu PF supporters to ensure that the party wins in urban areas.

“There are no questions about it. Laws are made by human beings and it is the human beings who revoke laws which are not amenable to our people. I urge you to vote for councils that belong to Zanu PF and we shall make Zimbabwe great,” he said.

“I have come here with Local Government minister (July Moyo) so that we can uplift Mbare Musika to make it a world-class market like what other countries are doing, together with Mupedzanhamo Market.”

He said councils led by opposition parties were failing the people.

“You have been voting councils from MDC and CCC. There hasn’t been any development which has been taking place. They have destroyed urban areas. There is litter everywhere to an extent that if you need fresh air these days, you will go to the rural areas,” Chiwenga said.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa toured the dilapidated flats in the suburb in the run-up to the 2018 polls and promised to have them renovated, but has not done so to date.

In 2011, a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded project to rehabilitate the Matapi Flats in Mbare failed to take off after the Zanu PF-linked Chipangano terror group blocked the programme.

The flats were built during the colonial era to accommodate male workers and have now become home to thousands of families who use communal toilets and water points.

— NewsDay


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