The Kingsdale land saga has taken a new twist after allegations that land developer Maparahwe Properties actually donated a large chuck of the public areas such as buffer zones which it is now seeking to charge residents for.
Last month a surveyor was engaged by the involved parties to survey the public areas and he came up with a total figure which was then divided and shared resulting in the additional charge of US$2.78.
This figure was then added to the agreed US$5 per square metre resulting in the new total charge of US$7.78.
However some residents have begun querying the new amount leading to a stalemate over the signing of a Deed of Settlement which is required at the courts this week to bring an end to the years-long matter.
According to sources Maparahwe’s developmental permit shows that he donated buffer zones, school areas, clinics, and people’s market places to the Norton Town Council.
However the developer has of late sought to charge the Kingsdale residents for the same land leading to an increase in land charges from the Constitutional Court agreed US$5 per square metre to US$7.78.
“Mpame donated these areas to the Council how are we then supposed to pay for the same land”.
“According to the permit that he has, it states that he donated these areas to the Norton Town Council (NTC) so we are not supposed to pay for donated land but he has gone on and charged us”, queried a resident.
However Maparahwe says the donation is towards Council and not a free handover of land to the residents.
The company’s representative Mr Kennedy Mpame said they would not charge Council for the roads and other spaces as the statutes dictate that they hand them over freely.
Reached for comment Cuthbert Mpame said he was no longer interested in negotiations and would be going to court soon.
The Kingsdale land issue has lately bred factional battles as rival resident organisations have taken different routes to end the challenge with the developer.
Whilst some have agreed to abide by the Constitutional court order charging US$5 per square metre others have continued contesting the position as they accuse Maparahwe of having swindled the land from them.
The latter group argue that Maparahwe Properties, owned by ZANU PF legislator for Zvishavene-Runde, Cuthbert Mpame, never bought the land and isn’t entitled to getting paid for it.
Instead they allege government gave it to them as a Cooperative in an eerily similar manner to the Aspindale 48&49 land saga in Kambuzuma.
The high density location currently lacks a variety of services such as water; roads and electricity years after it came into existence at the behest of a ZANU PF strategy to regain political control of urban areas.
The plan has not worked effectively as currently Norton has an independent MP Temba Mliswa.