SCORES of civil servants yesterday besieged musician, Energy Mutodi’s Eastgate offices demanding their money following a flopped housing scheme.
Report by Jennifer Dube
Security at the mall said the civil servants started arriving at Mutodi’s ZimTrust Housing Scheme offices as early as 5am, demanding their monies back.
“We were paying for the stands for the past three years only to be told that the money we had paid was no longer being considered,” said a man who claimed to have come from Marondera, about 80km away from Harare.
The civil servants said between US$20 and US$50 was being deducted from their salaries every month going towards the scheme.
The deductions were stopped sometime last year without notice.
“We made a follow-up and we were told some people had already been allocated stands in some areas, including Mabvuku and Dzivarasekwa,” Florence Njini said.
“We were told those who were getting the stands were paying US$300, with an agreement that they will further pay US$150 per month for the next five years.”
The workers said they told Mutodi that they could not afford the new terms and tried to negotiate for friendlier ones, but without success.
“We then agreed that he should give us our money and he gave us dates on which to come and collect it from here,” another disgruntled worker said.
“We were told that those who came last Saturday and on Monday, did not find him in his office just like us. A few of those who came on Wednesday were given an average of US$200 each.”
Some office owners and security guards at the complex tried to disperse the civil servants, advising them they were wasting their time camping at the mall. They told them that Mutodi and his workers had not been coming to their offices throughout the week.
“Some of us used to pay our premiums in cash and we would come here on Saturdays and be attended to,” said another civil servant.
“We will wait here until they come.”
Efforts to get a comment from Mutodi were fruitless as different people kept answering his phone, giving various excuses.
One claimed the musician had left his phone on the charger while another said he could only understand Ndebele but suprisingly failed to converse in the language.
The third one said he recently bought Mutodi’s mobile line from an airtime vendor.
In July, angry members of the Caledonia Housing Scheme stormed Mutodi’s offices alleging that they had been swindled of their money, which they had invested in housing stands.
The members said they were contributing money under the scheme since 2006, but were yet to be allocated stands.