MORE than half the people who were allocated completed four-roomed houses at Runyararo Village in Chimanimani District after the March 2019 Cyclone Idai just collected the keys to the properties, installed curtains and left for alternative accommodation elsewhere, The Manica Post has established.
They only return to Runyararo Village periodically to collect Presidential and Government agricultural inputs meant for residents of the area.
In the spirit of building back better, the Government committed to provide decent accommodation to survivors of the disaster.
Chimanimani District Development Coordinator, Mr Joseph Manyurapasi said as of last week, 173 houses had been completed and allocated to beneficiaries.
However, information gleaned by this newspaper during a visit to the site on Tuesday revealed that more than half of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who were allocated houses are not staying at Runyararo Village.
A drive around the completed four-roomed houses at Runyararo Village was met with overgrown vegetation and neglected surroundings, while a good number of the houses only have curtains with no one residing in them.
Investigations conducted by The Manica Post revealed that the allocation process might have been flawed, with undeserving cases being prioritised.
Apparently, those who were prioritised in the allocation process had alternative accommodation, while a good number of IDPs who were staying in rented accommodation when disaster struck in 2019 are still staying in wooden structures and staying at the site.
While some beneficiaries who were allocated the completed houses left the place due to lack of adequate amenities and sources of livelihoods, the presence of those staying in wooden structures while waiting for the completion of more houses reveals that houses might have been allocated to those who had other options, while those in dire need of accommodation are still out in the cold.
Secretary for Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Mr Edgars Seenza admitted that there was an anomaly in the allocation process and attributed it to the change in the district leadership that occurred after disaster struck.
“We are currently seized with that matter. There is a team going on the ground to assess the situation and will move to redress the anomalies.
‘‘It should be noted that those people who were allocated stands and houses at Runyararo Village are Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) without any other secondary name-tag of landlord or tenant.
“A list was compiled and it indicated that 224 was the total number of IDPs who had to be resettled at Runyararo Village. No other persons outside that list should be accommodated there.
“This is a matter we are resolving and we will ensure that sanity prevails. Our definition of IDPs does not speak to one’s social standing before the disaster struck,” said Mr Seenza.
Councillor Wonder Mutsengiwa, whose Chimanimani Ward Six borders Runyararo Village, said although water has been a major challenge at the resettlement area, the situation is generally improving.
“The source of livelihoods is also a major challenge that needs attention since these households have school going kids and food requirements.
“The resettled people are also benefiting from the inputs that are distributed to locals. Sadly, that is the only time we see some of the people that were allocated houses here.
‘‘Cars swarm this area as they come to collect inputs and they leave soon afterwards,” said Cllr Mutsengiwa.