The Sunday Mail
Zimbabwe’s cities and towns will undergo major developments to meet international standards and improve access to service delivery.
Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister July Moyo last week said the changes were contained in the ministry’s 100-day plan.
In a wide ranging interview with The Sunday Mail, the minister said funding for construction of 470 000 houses had been secured and Government was finalising finer details.
Construction of high-rise apartments is at implementation stage in Manresa and Tafara in Harare.
Minister Moyo said illegal settlers who had occupied land out of desperation for residential stands would be relocated.
He said some illegal settlements, like Caledonia in Harare, would be regularised.
“We are making sure that the pegging and planning of stands is approved by responsible authorities and those who have been given stands in a proper manner will keep them.
“For those houses built on wetlands, we are going to examine each place and if we decide with the Ministry of Environment that it is uninhabitable, we will have to look for alternative places. The settlers will no longer have to deal with land barons and will deal directly with the local authorities that we would have established.
“We want to make sure that the money for refuse collection is a stand-alone so that we see how the money is used.”
Minister Moyo said his ministry had taken over rehabilitation of road networks.
“Harare City Council can no longer go it alone, and so working with Government are some donors as we look at ways of how we can speed up the resurfacing of many of the road networks within Harare and other cities.”
Minister Moyo said the much-hyped refurbishment of Harare’s water system was overrated, with findings indicating that only US$72 million from a total US$144 of a Chinese loan was used to complete works at Morton Jaffray Water Treatment Plant.
The minister said Government would not seek the remaining US$72 million as it did not want to commit itself to an unnecessary debt.
Minister Moyo said Harare was working on the Kunzvi Dam project, where equipment was now on site to start drawing of water from the dam within three months.
The minister said Government was spearheading establishment of rural service centres, clinics, shops and collection of unit tax to be administered at local level.
“Rural authorities are now allowed to collect their own unit tax because for the last few years’ unit tax was collected by the ministry of lands,” he said.
Apart from service delivery, the anticipated construction of the new Parliament Building is to begin next month with plans to develop the environs into a city with residential, commercial and industrial services.
“But we are saying let us not just work on the Parliament Building and instead let us plan it in three-dimensional terms and construct houses, offices and other supporting infrastructure.”