Harare allocates 163 stands, builds one school in 2022

Source: Harare allocates 163 stands, builds one school in 2022 -Newsday Zimbabwe

Jacob Mafume

Harare City Council has only allocated 163 stands this year despite having a housing waiting list of more than 151 000 people in Zimbabwe’s capital.

The council suspended allocations in 2020 after unearthing irregularities which saw senior management being arrested for alleged scams, including housing director Addmore Nhekairo, former acting housing director Matthew Marara, and principal housing allocation officer Edgar Dzehonye.

Allocation of stands only resumed this year.

In his end-of-year address yesterday, Harare mayor Jacob Mafume said: “We continue to perform dismally in the housing sector of the city. Only 163 stands were allocated against a target of 5 000 stands. We are remodelling the housing delivery strategy so that we work with reputable institutions and developers in servicing stands so that we can be able to provide stands with on-site and bulk off-site infrastructure. The current model is not working, and this has created opportunities for land barons to swindle desperate homeseekers. Linked to housing is the issue of title deeds.”

Mafume said next year, council would embark on a programme to ensure properties get title deeds, and also sell houses to sitting tenants that have occupied them for long periods.

“On the education front, we were able to increase service coverage through increasing the number of schools from 34 to 35 by the successful completion of Budiriro No 7 Primary School. We will also rename our schools and other properties after some luminaries and prominent individuals.

On stadiums, he said: “We have had challenges in refurbishing Gwanzura and Rufaro stadiums. We will continue to explore sustainable means of rehabilitating our social services infrastructure without prejudicing the owners: the residents of Harare. Rufaro Stadium will be refurbished by council, and we are hoping to make it operational by March 2023.”

He said Gwanzura Stadium would be refurbished as planned though there were operational challenges that had since been resolved.

“We are also hoping that the revenue from Rufaro Marketing, which has since been remodelled will be utilised to fund the major works at stadia.”

On heavy-handedness of municipal and traffic police, Mafume said:  “We have instituted measures to ensure that they are humane as they implement various operations to restore order in the city.”