Norton Town Council has dismissed rumours that it wanted to illegally sell unserviced stands and offer some to its Councilors in a move recently cancelled following a public uproar.
The town authorities were reported to be preparing the selling of some unserviced stands in an area known as Tangatara at $30 per square metre, leading to a frenetic rush by members of the public, some from as far as Harare, converging upon the Council offices to apply for the stands.
Early this week Council was busy selling waiting list application forms, with high-density forms going for $50 and low-density forms going for $100.
However, they were persistent rumours that the public application process was a ruse to hide the foregone selling of stands to a few select individuals including Councilors.
Speaking to Open Council, the NTC Spokesperson Engineer Reggie Gavara has however dismissed the allegations saying the Council had merely stopped the process in recognition of better advice they had received.
“NTC intended and still intends to sell land and initially they wanted to sell unserviced land but they responded to better advice to sell serviced stands.
“So they put the sale on hold until the land is serviced and it will be sold”.
Engineer Gavara dismissed the allegation that 8 Councilors were set to benefit from the stands saying it was normal at law for Councilors to get stands.
“That 8 Councilors were meant to benefit, I don’t know about the number, but what I know is Councilors in their term of office are entitled to one residential stand, which is not for free but which is on a discounted rate”.
“So I can’t say 8 but there is nothing illegal, there is nothing fraudulent but they are entitled to a piece of land, it’s actually according to the law”, he added.
In 2019 Norton Town Council had a housing waiting list totalling 8 553.
Authorities in Mashonaland West Province have previously expressed concern at the ballooning housing waiting list, with most urban centres bemoaning lack of land for expansion.
The housing waiting list covering Kadoma, Chinhoyi, Chegutu, Norton, Karoi and Kariba currently stands at 31 350, with the number expected to rise as other service centres continue growing.