Cowdray Park residents to put pressure on council


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Residents of Section 12 of Cowdray Park are to put pressure on the Bulawayo City Council to resolve their dispute with Alpha Construction which was supposed to construct more than 500 houses in the area but failed to do so.

The residents have waited for more than a year for the dispute to be settled after the council cancelled its contract with Alpha Construction and demanded $1.1 billion from the private developer so that the council could complete servicing of the stands.

The council later granted the company a reprieve and gave it up to December 31 to complete the job.

Alpha Construction was awarded the contract in 1996 and was given until 2003 to complete the project but failed to do so.

Instead the project is reported to be a total mess with multiple allocations of stands and, in some cases, title deeds. Several houses were poorly constructed with some encroaching onto the next stand.

Roads were not properly serviced and the company did not provide the required water and sewerage connections.

The council cancelled Alpha’s contract in October 2004 and ordered the company to pay $1.1 billion to enable the council to complete servicing the stands.

The company was, however, later given a reprieve to complete the project. But this was on condition that it secured a performance bond of $2.2 billion.

The secretary of the Section 12 Cowdray Park Residents Association Fidelis Ndebele said there had been no progress at all. Alpha had just laid a few pipes towards Christmas and that was it.

“We now want answers from council. We were just waiting for the December 31 deadline,” Ndebele said.

Ndebele said his association would also want to verify the extent of double allocations because council had invited residents who had been allocated stands to register with the council so that it could determine how many stands had been allocated to more than one person. It never released the results of the exercise.

The council also had its hands tied as it was waiting for the December 31 deadline.

 

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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