Norton legislator Temba Mliswa has brought joy to tormented souls of members of the Joshua Nkomo Housing Cooperative who have endured untold persecution at the hands of controversial businessman Billy Rautenbach.
The residents of Joshua Nkomo Housing Cooperative have not tested peace for a long time. In 2005, their houses were destroyed during the infamous clean up exercise to destroy illegal structures that was code named Operation Murambatsvina.
“I sympathise with the residents of Joshua Nkomo Housing Cooperative. I understand that the need to have access to decent housing led the war veterans in the early 2000’s to come and settle on this piece of land. The then ZANU (PF) government allowed them to settle here until in 2005 when operation Murambatsvina descended and people had their houses destroyed.
“That move was condemned locally and internationally. But because people need stands and houses in the urban areas, they rebuilt again. However, land barons like Billy Rautenbach are unrelenting in their quest to acquire vast tracts of land for properties and agriculture. Here Billy Rautenbach used his financial muscle and enlisted the services of the police who beat up people as the business tycoon sought to acquire this land through corrupt means,” Mliswa told the crowd that gathered at the Joshua Nkomo Housing Cooperative in Kambuzuma this morning.
The community, comprising mainly of the veterans of the liberation struggle approached Mliswa for assistance and to be freed from the jaws of the untold suffering meted on them by Billy Rautenbach.
“We watched on television and read in newspapers how Honourable Temba Mliswa successfully represented the poor not only in his Norton constituency but countrywide. With our documents, we approached the legislator and recounted our story to him. We explained in detail our suffering at the hands of Billy Rautenbach.
“Being the generous and compassionate representative of the people that he is, Honourable Mliswa took our matter up to the President of this country, His Excellency Comrade Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa. I am glad that Honourable Mliswa secured a meeting among the members of our housing cooperative and the President. I am glad to report to you that indeed the President had audience with us and promised to put an end to our suffering,” said Cecilia Ngwenya, the Chairperson of the Supervisory Committee of the Joshua Nkomo Housing Cooperative, amid applause from the gathering.
Mliswa said it was an uphill task for him to organise a meeting of the President and the residents but had to do all it takes to represent the people since he stands for equality and justice for all in the society.
President Mnangagwa engaged the Commissioner General of the Police Mr Godwin Matanga to understand if the police who demolished houses had a court order.
“Being the lawyer that he is, President Mnagagwa demands facts. He called all stakeholders including Commissioner Matanga and the Resident Minister of Harare Metropolitan Province, Comrade Oliver Chidawu. It was established that Minister Chidawu was working in cahoots with Billy Rautenbach to disenfranchise the residents,” Mliswa said.
He assured the residents that Marimba Residential Properties owned by Billy Rautenbach is not a registered company according to the Ministry of Justice hence the business tycoon has no title deeds to the land in question.
Honourable Willias Madzimure, the Member of the National Assembly for Kambuzuma constituency thanked his counterpart Hon Mliswa for organising the all-stakeholders meeting and assured residents that their properties were safe from today onwards.
The meeting was attended by the high command of the police force including Zimbabwe Republic Police Commissioner Bernard Dumbura who reiterated that the police was meant to maintain law and order at all costs.