Monday, May 3, 2010

Khumbulani Maphosa (Media and Publications Officer)

BULAWAYO - There seems to be an upsurge in the illegal sell of houses in Bulawayo’s high-density suburbs as evidenced by an incident reported in the local IsiNdebele newspaper, UMthunywa, where a house has been sold five times without the owner’s knowledge.

According to media reports carried in the latest edition of UMthunywa (30 April to 6 May), this house which is Tshabalala, house number 7559/10 has been sold five times to five different people without the owner’s knowledge. The media reports claim that the house, which belongs to Sophia Mpofu, who is now based in Harare, is under the custody of her niece Siphiwe Ndlovu who is now blind. The paper further reports that Siphiwe Ndlovu was last week on Wednesday evicted by the people who claimed to have bought the house.
It is also reported that the house was recently advertised in another local paper as being sold for $10 000.
The paper further reports that when the residents’ association representatives visited the housing office they discovered that the ownership of the house has not been changed from Sophia Mpofu.

COMMENT: Habakkuk Trust can confidently report that the issue of the illegal sell of houses is not peculiar to Tshabalala only. The organisation has, since 2007 been advocating on the same issue in Mpopoma, a suburb adjacent to Tshabalala. Apart from gathering empirical evidence on the houses sold in Mpopoma, the organisation has gone to the extent of holding two public sensitization meetings where a total of 220 members of the public have been educated on the procedures to be followed in the sell of houses as well as other related concerns by representatives from the High Court, the Zimbabwe Republic Police, the Bulawayo Legal Projects Centre and the Bulawayo City Council. Another meeting is set for the 23rd of May 2010 at Mpopoma Community hall for the same reasons of creating awareness on the issue. Through the advocacy actions of the Habakkuk Trust Action Team in Mpopoma one case is now being handled by the courts.

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