Uproar Of Illegal Lodges Takeover Mbare

Andras Joseph

Harare- Residents in the most populous Mbare suburb have expressed concern over the increasing number of residential houses being turned into lodges which they fear will promote promiscuity and bad behaviour especially amongst young people.

“We are having serious problems with these emerging lodges as their increasing presence is now promoting youths engagement in sexual activities and this puts our community at risk of diseases associated with sexual activities such as HIV and syphilis,” said Anna Marowa of Mbare National.

“A lot of noise emanating from quarrels and drunkenness has become very common in these lodges and this is made worse by the fact that a lot of used condoms are thrown around these lodges and some young kids end up blowing them as they do with balloons,” complained another resident identified as Terry.

A visit to the suburb by Community Radio Harare showed that in the past six months, at least five houses have been turned into lodges with two of these located along Mbirimi Drive, one along Ardbenie Road and another one in Chitiyo Street whilst there is also another in Munetsi Drive.

Speaking to this publication Mbare Ward 12 Councilor Partson Mangwiro said as council is coming up with solutions to the issues raised by residents. He promised that several grievances from residents on the issue will be addressed soon.

A house in the area

Harare City Spokesperson Michael Chideme said council had bylaws that regulate property change of use adding that if these were observed, there is nothing else that bars people from converting their houses to lodges. “There are council bylaws that have to be observed when one wants to change use of their residential properties towards commercial purposes. If set conditions are met, then there will not been any reason to close the lodges but if the rules were not followed, then council will intervene and close the lodges,” said Chideme.

Mbare is one of the oldest and most populous suburbs in Harare with an estimated population of 800 000 people. It was built in 1907 with most of its occupants being workers of manufacturing industries based in Southerton, Adbernie and Willowvale.

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