Operation Murambatsvina (Clean Up) which was implemented in 2005 resulted in government destroying people’s houses in an exercise which was condemned by the international community.
These Operation Murambatsvina victims were dumped in old and squalid Sidojiwe flats located in Belmont industrial area. Although the government build the victims houses under Operation Garikai, Hlalani Kuhle (Live well), the houses were snatched by top Zanu (PF) officials and their relatives.
â€œWe are tired of fake promises from government, I think itâ€™s high time we should move in and grab these Operation Hlalani Kuhle houses. Nobody here, absolutely nobody benefited from these Operation Hlalani Kuhle houses. It’s only top officials from the previous government who benefited,â€ said John Dlamini Vice Chairperson of Sidojiwe Residents Association told Radio VOP on Wednesday
Dlamini pointed out the MDC-T led Bulawayo City Council should not be blamed for corruption that rocked Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle project in the city as the previous Zanu (PF) government controlled the project.
Contacted for comment, Giles Mutsekwa the current National Housing Minister condemned corruption in the allocation of Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle houses saying he will soon start taking stock of the project and fish out those top Zanu (PF) officials who have benefited.
â€œThis is really sad, I really sympathise with Sidojiwe Flats residents. Operation Garikai houses was meant for the victims of Operation Murambatsvina and I donâ€™t see the reasons why these previous government officials allocated houses to themselves living families to suffer like this,â€ said Mutsekwa
Mutsekwa added that after taking stock of Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle houses he will official hand them over to city and town councils countrywide, which in turn will allocate them to Operation Murambatsvina victims.