RESIDENTS of Dombotombo suburb in Marondera are currently at loggerheads with the municipality over the local authority’s failure to renovate the dilapidated Rusike Flats.
REPORT BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
The flats have become a haven for prostitutes and criminals.
Some residents also fear that the flats might collapse on their children who sometimes play hide and seek around the dingy building.
Dagga smokers are now using the flats, which are located near a shopping centre, as their smoking hide-out as they avoid law enforcement agents.
When Standardcommunity visited the flats last week, it was evident that the building was deserted a long time ago and wide cracks were visible on the red walls.
Broken glasses littered the ground, while window frames and doors were missing, probably stolen by thieves.
Inside the building were used condoms and urine on the floor, producing a stench that was unbearable.
Residents who spoke to Standardcommunity expressed anger over the council’s failure to renovate the flats, which could provide decent accommodation to people desperate for housing.
“The council is indeed sleeping on duty.
These flats have been like this for over five years yet they are failing to take care of them,” said Tamare Shumba, a resident in the area.
“We are living in fear that one day the building will collapse and kill our children who play inside during the day.”
Another resident, Moses Mugwisi (55), said the building was now a haven for vice.
“The building is nothing else but a haven for sex workers and thieves who use it as their hunting ground,” said Mugwisi.
“People have lost cellphones and money to the thieves who hide in the flats at night.
“We have been complaining to the council about renovating the flats or to destroy them but it seems the council is reluctant to act.”
Marondera mayor Farai Nyandoro said the council was aware of the poor state of the building and was working on means to refurbish it.
“We are quite aware about the situation and last week a full council meeting resolved that it is now high time we act on the issue,” said Nyandoro.
“We already found a contractor who will do all the work and I believe in a few weeks’ time construction will be starting,” he said.