A 68-year-old Mbare widow has for the past seven months been sleeping outside her house, which was taken over by a vendor who claims to have acquired it after clearing bills with City of Harare.
The elderly widow Gladys Ndlovu told H-Metro that she lost her house when her leg broke and went to her village and returned to find Memory Machiri claiming to be the owner of the house.
Machiri confirmed skipping City of Harare Housing waiting list and acquired ownership of the house by clearing rates arrears that Gogo Ndlovu had not been settling.
Gogo Ndlovu has been exposed to cold weather sleeping outside Matapi Flats Block 7 Room C29 prompting her neighbours to fight for her rights.
“I have been staying at this flat with my late brother since 1995 before he passed on,” said Gogo Ndlovu.
“One of my neighbours Cecilia Mboma leased the house to Machiri when I went to the village to seek medical attention after one of my legs broke while walking down the stairs.
“Upon my return Machiri refused to leave the house claiming that she had acquired ownership of the house accusing me of failing to settle rates bill.
“I have been staying outside since November last year and my neighbours supplied me with blankets, food and have been confronting Machiri daily to vacate my house in vain.
“Varidzi vedzimba idzi vazhinji vakafa kwasara vana nehama dzavo uye hapana asina chikwereti kuCity of Harare saka Machiri akanyatsovapa mari kuti anditorere imba yangu.
“Uye Gogo Mboma vakatendera Machiri kuti agare mumba mangu mune hembe dzemufi uye akarasa dzimwe mbatya dzangu,” said Gogo Ndlovu.
Gogo Mboma confirmed leasing Gogo Ndlovu’s house to Machiri arguing that she had agreed to leave upon the return of the owner.
“Rega vakuru vakati kurera imbwa nemukaka inofuma yokuruma; Machiri akauya pano akandidembera kuti anoda pekugara akandipa mari ndikamugarisa mumba maGogo Ndlovu achiti anozobuda vauya,” said Gogo Mboma.
Machiri, a middleperson vendor popularly known as Makoronyera at Mbare Market confirmed acquiring ownership with the help of her relatives attached to City of Harare.
“I came here as a tenant and Gogo Mboma was receiving my rentals until I learnt from my relatives with the City of Harare that the real owner of the house passed on,” said Machiri.
“They went on to inform me about the huge outstanding rate bills and I agreed to clear the bills and acquire ownership.
“I was informed of the waiting list but one of the officials received seven thousand dollars from me and my papers were processed.
“I showed Gogo Ndlovu upon her return from her village and she started sleeping outside.
“I have no problem with her returning to her house if City of Harare refunds me the money I paid to them because everyone at this Block is attacking me over the issue.
“I have no peace following this move and the late’s belongings are still stashed in two suitcases in the house; maybe they are the ones haunting me but I am paying to City of Harare and I cleared the bill for rates,” said Machiri.