A home is that place where every individual looks forward to going after a hard day’s work.
With the right to adequate housing often described as the right to live somewhere in security, peace and dignity.
However, for the families holed up in the rooms at the council houses in Mucheke in Masvingo town, their houses are a far cry from providing any decency.
In one of the rooms, Mai Moyo lives with 7 of her grandchildren and due to constraints of space some sleep on the bed, others on the floor, while some have to be accommodated by neighbours.
She has been living in this house for close to 30 years and still hopes that one day she will be able to acquire a house that will enable her to live with a certain degree of dignity.
Her story resonates with that of the other residents living at the council rooms.
“Ndogara nevazukuru vangu 7, vamwe ndovaisa pasi pomubhedha, vamwe vedu vakavakirwa dzimba nekhanzuru, vamwe tikanzi tchapihwa asi nanhasi….dzimba dzatogara hadziite. (I stay with my 7 grandchildren, some sleep under the bed. Some residents got houses build by council; we were promised houses too, but nothing has materialised),” she said.
The residents have to share their communal toilets and bathrooms with patrons from nearby bars which are adjacent to Mucheke bus terminus.
This exposes them to diseases given the filthy state of the toilets.
Masvingo Deputy Mayor Councillor Wellington Mahwende says the rooms were initially built to accommodate individuals and agreed with the tenants that the place is a ticking health time bomb given the abuse of the communal toilets by beerhall patrons.
“The most ideal situation would be to get an investor who would partner us so we build flats around this area and make sure that these residents are the first beneficiaries,” Councillor Mahwende said.
Sixty-two families are living at the council rooms.
According to the city fathers, Masvingo has a housing backlog of 15 000 houses.