The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: 'No to Laws Inhibiting Housing Development'

VICE President Joice Mujuru says Government should scrap laws that inhibit housing development to ensure the country achieves its housing-for-all target. Officially commissioning the Zimplats Employee Home Ownership Scheme in Ngezi yesterday, VP Mujuru said Government wanted all its citizens to have decent accommodation.

She said citizens could not remain prisoners of their own housing laws.

"Henceforth, remove bottlenecks in land survey and deeds registration. Review laws, rules and regulations and city bylaws that are seriously inhibiting housing development.

"Government needs partners in housing delivery in order to reduce the backlog as spelt out in the Medium Term Plan 2011-2015 and the National Housing Policy."

The 2 957 housing units are being built at the Turf Village in Ngezi with over 650 having been completed.

Over 500 of the completed houses have since been occupied.

Of the 2 957 houses, 1 632 will be company houses while 1 325 will be core houses that employees will permanently own and could make improvements on.

The project is expected to be completed in 2015.

"Government would like to see Zimbabwe with a well-established, sustainable and reliable housing development sector that also implements pro-poor housing development strategies and makes use of appropriate technology," she said.

The Vice President said there was a need to upgrade informal settlements across Zimbabwe so that they could be habitable.

VP Mujuru hailed Zimplats for taking the lead in embracing the indigenisation and economic empowerment drive.

"It is remarkable that Zimplats has managed to translate policy into this Employee Housing Ownership Project that we are witnessing here today.

"This project will afford lower level employees a rare opportunity of purchasing a home at a very low cost of US$12 000 over a 15-year period."

By investing in housing, the VP said, Zimplats had left a legacy to the surrounding communities for generations to come.

Local Government, Urban and Rural Development Minister Ignatius Chombo said Zimbabwe subscribed to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goal that requires countries to achieve housing for all citizens by 2015.

"As local government, we are pleased with the development of Turf Growth Point. It is our hope that as the number of households at Turf increase, this will attract investment in the area."

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