National Housing and Social Amenities Minister Daniel Garwe said Government had started the construction of the housing projects in different parts of the country to provide alternative accommodation to victims of demolitions.
Hundreds of families were this year left homeless after local government authorities razed down their houses that were allegedly built on undesignated sites or built on land that had been illegally acquired while some had not been approved by authorities.
In an interview with The Sunday Mail, Garwe said Cabinet had directed that the first phase should commence forthwith.
The project will use $75 million already provided by Treasury to implement works at Cowdray Park in Bulawayo, Binga and Cross Dete in Matabeleland North, and in Masvingo City. He said:
There’s full commitment by the Government to resolve the issue. Government intends to provide alternative accommodation for the households before the end of 2021. Construction of flat apartments for the relocation exercise is now underway at various sites which include Dzivaresekwa, Highfield and Senga Messengers Camp. The first four blocks of flats in Dzivaresekwa are targeted for completion by December 31, 2021 and there’s significant progress on the ground.
A total of 14 Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle settlements will constitute the first phase, while the costing of additional settlements is ongoing. In order to allow meaningful works to commence before the onset of the 2021/2022 rainfall season, Treasury has undertaken to disburse ZW$450 million by October, in tranches of ZW$150 million in August, ZW$150 million in September, and ZW$150 million in October 2021.
Under the former Messengers Camp projects, Treasury availed ZW$200 million for construction works to commence at the Highfield (Harare) and Senga (Gweru) camps. The Public Works Department will construct four of the eight blocks at the Senga camp, with the remaining four blocks being reserved for tendering. Treasury has provided ZW$140 million to enable works to commence.
A government exercise to do away with all remaining irregular settlements identified ten farms – Highwood, Rockwood, Umzi and Sussex under Mazowe district; Glen Forest, Gletywn, Lot 1 of Eyrecourt, Remainder of Carrick Creagh of Borrowdale Estate, and Remainder of Churu Farm under Harare; and Arcon in Goromonzi district. They will be considered for regularisation.
The verification exercise is expected to be completed by November 2021.