|Masunda on collision course with Chombo over Mbare hostels demolitions|
|Thursday, 19 July 2012 00:00|
Michael Chideme Municipal Reporter
hostels suggesting the hostels should revert to single occupancy.
Mr Masunda, who admitted that he was last inside the dilapidated, congested and filthy hostels in the 1970s, still feels the apartments can be spruced up for the city’s bachelors and spinsters.
“Demolition is not a viable option now. I have not been inside the hostels of late. I was last inside the hostels in the late 1970s,” he said.
He based his arguments from management reports.
He said demolition of the hostels should only be an option when the right time comes, adding that there was no need “to resort to extreme measures”.
Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Minister Ignatius Chombo has ruled out refurbishing the apartments, saying they had outlived their purpose of housing single black migrant labour during the colonial era.
He said the demolition of the apartments and construction of civilised dwellings was part of the urban renewal programme that has already seen the building of the Tagarika Flats in the same suburb.
“The hostels would be demolished. They cannot be there forever. Upgrading the hostels is abnormal because they were built abnormally. We need to civilise that place,” he said.
But a city official close to the developments said the city intends to revamp the hostels and have apartments with two bedrooms, a sitting room and toilet.
Those who fail to fit in the new set-up would be allocated residential stands elsewhere.
However, most of the tenants in the apartments are renting the properties from third parties who stay outside the suburb. The tenants enjoy staying in the apartments because of their proximity to the city centre and the economically vibrant Mbare Musika.