6 September 2017

Zimbabwe: Zaha Unveils Novel Savings Scheme

The Zimbabwe Amalgamated Housing Association (ZAHA) has implored Zimbabweans to adopt a culture of saving money with the goal of acquiring residential stands and eventually building their own houses.Speaking after touring the Galloway housing project in Norton yesterday, ZAHA director-general Dr Killer Zivhu said they were introducing a programme called "My dollar my stand, my dollar my house", in which people could pool their resources together for the purpose.

ZAHA has developed the Galloway project using the same method in which prospective home owners opened fixed bank accounts for their savings, and the organisation went into alliance with financial institutions.

The Galloway housing project has been successful based on the concept of pooling financial resources, with ZAHA having put roads, running water and electricity at the project.

Most of the people who got land under the concept are already building their houses on stands ranging from 1 500 square metres to more than 2 000 square metres.

"It is only through saving funds that people can be able to build houses, there is no other easier way," said Dr Zivhu. "As ZAHA, we are offering prospective home owners a chance to save the little they get and pool their financial resources together to enable them to acquire stands.

"Our 'My dollar my stand, My dollar my house' concept has been tried and tested at our Galloway project and it has been successful as can be seen by the quick servicing of the stands and the provision of water and electricity."

Dr Zivhu said it was unfortunate that some of the funds contributed by members of his housing association towards the project were locked in Allied Bank, which went bust.

ZAHA has since approached the courts in a bid to recover the nearly $1,5 million locked in Allied Bank.

"Under the concept of saving funds for building houses which we have introduced, people contribute their funds into a fixed account which they have control over," said Dr Zivhu.

"We do not handle anyone's finances like what housing cooperatives used to do, which brought many problems, especially the abuse of funds by leaders of such organisations. If a person is no longer interested, they can withdraw their money and use it elsewhere."

Dr Zivhu said after contributing a certain amount to their fixed bank accounts, ZAHA would approach councils, both rural and urban, with a request for them to avail land based on the funds available.

The organisation would also approach banks to finance the servicing of the residential stands basing on the combined contribution of the members.

Dr Zivhu said councils were parcelling out land to private developers because they did not have the resources to service it for residential stands purposes.

"Most people on councils' housing waiting lists do not have the money to build houses," he said. "Some have been on the lists for years, but they could have made progress if they had saved from the little money they get.

"This is where we are coming in, to encourage people to save and open their eyes to the reality that they can actually be able to realise their dreams by building houses despite the little money they earn."

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