100 000 title deeds ready for issuance

Source: 100 000 title deeds ready for issuance | The Sunday Mail

100 000 title deeds ready for issuance
Mrs Nyemba

Tanyaradzwa Rusike

The Government will soon issue 100 000 title deeds to homeowners in Chitungwiza, Southlea Park and Epworth under the Presidential Title Deeds and Settlement Regularisation Programme.

In Chitungwiza, about 55 000 homeowners, who are long-standing municipal tenants, are set to receive title to their properties.

While the lease agreements between the identified tenants and the council specified a path to ownership of the houses they occupy, the local authority had for years been reluctant to officially hand over the properties.

For Southlea Park, the Government is preparing over 9 000 title deeds that will be issued to homeowners once the development of requisite amenities has been completed and a certificate of compliance is issued.

On the other hand, in Epworth, where the programme was initially launched in April last year, 18 000 homeowners are earmarked to receive title deeds.

This comes after they received offer letters for their properties.

Overall, the Government is targeting to issue title deeds to more than 1,5 million homeowners under the initiative over the next few years.

In an interview with The Sunday Mail, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Permanent Secretary Mrs Vimbai Nyemba said 1 000 title deeds have been issued so far.

“Almost every local authority has a long waiting list of citizens who need title deeds,” she said.

“The Government is expected to issue 18 000 in Epworth, where homeowners have received offer letters from the local authority.

“Also, at least 55 000 deeds are expected to be issued in Chitungwiza for long-standing municipal tenants, and 9 000 deeds will be issued in Southlea Park after the provision of services and the obtainment of a certificate of compliance.

“Additionally, the Government will issue 21 000 deeds for the Government-enabled housing programme nationwide under the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities.”

A title deed is a legal document issued by the State, which gives ownership of a piece of land to an individual; it confers real rights on that particular person over the property.

Mrs Nyemba said she had been appointed to head a taskforce to oversee the programme.

“So far, 1 000 deeds have been issued and 18 000 offer letters are ready for issuance,” she said.

“A taskforce chaired by the Secretary for Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs was established.

“The taskforce is composed of key Government institutions and also involves the private sector.

“Further to that, a command centre was established and equipped for electronic processing of title deeds.”

The Government, she added, was developing a digital land administration system, which would enable the issuance of securitised title deeds.

“Currently, securitised papers sufficient for 200 000 digital title deeds have been procured and are in stock,” she continued.

“The securitised paper has high-security features and cannot be tampered with or replicated.

“The system that processes the title deeds is built on blockchain technology, providing an additional layer of security.”

She said this will ensure that the title deeds are secure and tamper-proof.

“We foresee a sharp decline in deeds-related disputes, including fraudulently acquired title deeds,” added Mrs Nyemba.

“This is so because the securitised paper, together with the automated system, prevents replication or counterfeiting of deeds . . .

“Phase two of the project will involve title deed validation of all existing titles to verify their authenticity and reprint them on securitised paper.”

The programme, Mrs Nyemba said, was set to be extended to cover all parts of the country.

“The programme is to benefit all informal settlements that are targeted to be regularised, all long-standing municipality tenants, beneficiaries of Government-enabled housing under the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities, and rural business growth points,” she said.

To acquire the title deed, the homeowner is required to produce an original copy of their offer letter, a copy of the agreement of sale, a cessation document where applicable, relevant documents in case of deceased estates and proof of payments of the purchase price and related costs.

Field offices have since been established to assist homeowners secure all the requisite documentation for processing of their deeds.