A group of Epworth residents are allegedly  allocating residential stands to each other without the approval of the Epworth Local Board.

It is a move that has been condemned by other residents who feel this will escalate lawlessness in the densely population suburb.

The group which is believed to be made up of members of Movement for Democratic Change led by Morgan Tsvangirai  (MDC-T)  has already erected more than 100 structures on a land that the council had set aside for industrial development.

The leader of the group who is also a former councilor of Ward 4 in Epworth, Didymus Bande is allegedly spearheading the process.

Bande could not be reached for a comment as he was not answering his mobile phone.

A visit to Epworth by this reporter revealed that more than 100 illegal structures have been erected on the land that was meant for industrial development and these structures continue to grow on a daily basis.

The illegally settled people are engaging in fast- track construction of make shift houses as a way to escape eviction.

Scores of Epworth residents who spoke to this reporter heavily condemned this illegal distribution of land.

“This is absurd; no rational person would distribute land that is meant for industries. Industries have a huge impact on the development of the country and if the land is meant for industries it should be used accordingly.’’ said Allan Jackson.

Another resident who identified herself as Mai Phiri divulged the stands are being nicodemusly issued out.

“The criterion for this illegal land distribution is best known to the distributors themselves. We condemn such lawless action by individuals who abuse public resources for personal gains, ” said Mai Phiri.

Chairman of the Epworth local Board, Councilor Tafireyi Murambidzi, blasted Bande claiming that he has always been corrupt.

“It’s not the first time he has squandered money from the people. It’s crystal clear that these people have misused funds and they now try to justify this by settling people on illegal land.

“All my efforts to stop people from constructing structures have proved effortless,” said Murambidzi.

Murambidzi also lambasted the police for failing to effectively carry out their duties.

“We have taken the matter to the police and it seems as if the police are also benefiting from these stands as they are reluctant to chase people who have settled on industrial stands,” said Murambidzi.

This  development in Epworth comes at a time when the nation is hard hit by corruption. The skyrocketing levels of corruption have seen the emergence of illegal methods for survival.  Calls to end corruption by President Robert Mugabe have proved effortless as backyard trading has proved uncontrollable.


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