via President instructs Chitungwiza to be modelled into modern city 17 November 2013 Sunday Mail Reporter
President Mugabe has instructed the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to convert Chitungwiza Town into a proper city and the ministry has already engaged a Chinese company that has been assigned the task of coming up with plans of turning the dormitory town into a modern metropolis.
The Chinese company, Hennon Guogi, described as one of the leading real estate development companies in the Asian country, has over the past seven months been carrying out studies on how best the President’s wish can come to fruition.
Speaking in an interview with The Sunday Mail, the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Cde Ignatius Chombo, said the Government entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Chinese early last year for the company to come up with proper plans on how best to turn Chitungwiza into a modern city.
“Chitungwiza was just as dormitory town built by the colonial regime as residence for the poor just like Soweto in South Africa. So it is the wish of the President that we study carefully how best we can convert Chitungwiza slowly into a normal city by building skyscrapers, two- or three-storey buildings, re-doing the houses, re-doing the streets so that the people of Chitungwiza can say we have a town not a dormitory town.
“As I speak to you, we have a Chinese firm, Hennon Guogi from Hennon province in China. I think this is one of the largest real estate development companies in China.
“We signed a Memorandum of Understanding with them early last year when they had approached our embassy. So we gave them that assignment to carry out the study and for the last seven months, they have been working from our office here, studying how best this could be done.
“As soon as they are done, we will let the public know how Chitungwiza is going to be built.
“This company has also come up with funding mechanisms, new technology so that the construction of this new Chitungwiza could be cheaper but still give the city its ambiance and modern outlook. This is what we wish to see in Chitungwiza,” said Cde Chombo.
He said due to the plans to turn Chitungwiza into a modern city, those perpetuating illegal structures in the town were actually defeating this noble move.
“So by perpetuating illegal structures in Chitungwiza, we are actually defeating the whole purpose of what we are planning to do.
“I know some politicians might have felt that let’s let the chaos prevail, we let shanties grow in Chitungwiza but this is against Zanu-PF principles of providing decent accommodation to people in our country. If we allow shanties to develop, we are going contrary to our election manifesto,” said the minister.
He allayed fears regarding the planned clean-up exercise, saying: “There is absolutely nothing to fear. As of now, our committee is working in Seke and Chitungwiza only because these are the areas that we have seen the sprouting of many illegal structures.
“These are the areas we have discovered that there are many illegal land sales involving the DAs, involving other senior officials in those areas. The developments there are haphazard, chaotic, not systematic but more so very dangerous in terms of health provisions.
“As a ministry, we really are concerned about people’s welfare. So we had to come up with a team to study how the situation is on the ground.
“When we are done, we will then study the recommendations and see how best we can help the people who were duped by these unscrupulous elements in our society. These elements fraudulently obtained money through selling land that does not belong to them and as a Government we are to protect the poor from such people.”