New capital city starts taking shape

Construction of Zimbabwe’s new capital city in Mt Hampden – some 20km from central Harare – will begin within the next two years after Cabinet approved the multi-million-dollar project.

The Sunday Mail has gathered that Government engaged international experts to thrash out technical details regarding environmental impact and land use patterns.

The authorities are also studying development plans from prospective investors.

Funding will largely be sourced via external loans underwritten by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development as well as land sales.

Director of physical planning in the Local Government Ministry Mrs Ethel Mlalazi said: “The proposal for the new city has already gone through Cabinet and a decision was made to go ahead with the plan. We are hoping that once we have appropriate partners, the project will begin to take shape.

“We have already identified the site and are currently vetting potential partners who will assist in completing this multi-faceted task which requires a lot of expertise, financial resources and manpower.”

Mrs Mlalazi said her department assumed responsibility for planning the city as the proposed site is “virgin territory” existing outside Harare council boundaries.

“The challenge is that the department (of physical planning) lacks the capacity to tackle the project on its own; in terms of planning experience and human resources.

“Therefore, we are looking for interested partners to help develop proper ideas on what the site will look like and, subsequently, site development.

“There are some local and international investors who have expressed interest; we are talking to them and remain hopeful that negotiations will bear fruit.

“I am sure in two years time we would have made quite some progress in respect of planning and actual on-site work.”

The new metropolis is part of a grand strategy to decongest Harare, which was originally tailored for a smaller population but now has over 2,1 million people.

Designed in the mould of South Africa’s Sandton in Johannesburg, the city will accommodate Government ministries, Parliament, residential areas, shopping malls, hotels and industries.

A plan for the US$140 million Parliament complex has already been drawn up.

Zimbabwe Institute of Regional and Urban Planning president Mr Percy Toriro said: “The new city will be free of the problems in Harare.

“The capital has developed organically since it was planned and many things were not anticipated, especially in terms of population growth.

“Therefore, the new city presents an opportunity for sustainable planning, which accommodates all factors such as population growth that were overlooked when Harare was developed. Mt Hampden will give planners a chance to re-plan.

“Obviously, it will be costly: There will be expenses for setting up infrastructure, but these costs will largely be offset by land sales by developers.

“When Sandton City was constructed, it was costly but land sales reduced construction costs. There are other countries like Nigeria that have done it before. So, it will not be anything new.”

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  • Nhau

    Is the new city really starting to take shape?The heading???It is still on the cards.

    • Harare Moto

      i think they are trying to say the plans are taking shape. what do you think?

  • Guest

    Sort out the economy first before embarking on this white elephant. Of what use is a new City in an economy that is on its knees? Oh I see, vendors can’t fit in the CBD.

    • Rovambira

      I assume your role from your comment is some bystander with no contributions to make to Zimbabwe. Tell us your own vision of sorting out the economy that you say is on it’s knees. However you diagnostics of the Zim economy contradicts figures from international bodies like the World Bank. and IMF who are better placed to know better.

    • dafi

      That will create employment you fool

    • Jairosi

      Indeed, why waste resources on another city when the existing one is decaying due to lack of water, electricity and tenants? Our country is resource rich but we have very poor leaders and this has set us back decades behind other nations which are developing fast. Lets focus on getting Harare to where it was at the time of independence- clean, tidy and full of shops and shoppers.

  • gwedeja

    do we need this capital city? what for? lets develop the existing towns such as Gweru, Masvingo which are collapsing not to mention Bulawayo which was neglected since independence.

  • Abel

    ko kumbotanga mapedza kana airport road zvayowo? Why enjoy delivering news of pies in the sky when we fail to finish little projects like the airport road?

  • James Bond

    YAWN!

  • dusty

    Government running away from the people!

  • Chakata

    Totenda maruva tadya chakata.

    • bwanya

      All you Guys are wet blankets, government has bright ideas. The new city is long over due.

  • chinyichacho

    takes shape two years out? Really?

  • Harare

    big WHITE ELEPHANT

  • boarder jumper

    nonsense

  • haiwawo

    Give us better infrastructure, revive industries and improve the lives of people first in the country.

    They have killed Harare and now want to run away from the mess they have created. These are misplaced priorities that show the insensitivity of the leadership to the plight of the people.

  • BalancingRocks

    Its a ploy to try and take the attention of the masses from pressing current affairs. Tokwe- Mukosi dam took 60 years to complete. Plans for Harare -Chitungwiza railway line of 1980 have spider webs. Who really needs a second Harare?? Zviroto zviroto.

  • Donhodzo

    And where do we get electricity to provide the knew city? Only a idiot would think a new city is the way to go. Bulawayo raised funds to provide themselves with water through a pipeline from Zambezi and these thugs saw it not fit for Bulawayo to have water.

  • Reuben Mukondiwa

    Cant wait for the city to be built.Harare must go…