The creation of illegal urban settlements by land barons is now a thing of the past, with the Second Republic spearheading the construction of modern houses in line with Vision 2030 as pronounced by President Mnangagwa, Vice President Kembo Mohadi said yesterday.
Speaking during belated World Habitat Day commemorations held at Nemamwa Growth Point, the Vice President said Vision 2030 was crafted by Zimbabweans, and therefore, everyone should work tirelessly towards the attainment of its targets.
As a result, the Government will no longer allow unlawful settlements even in rural areas, as this negated the ongoing drive towards modernisation, he said. This comes as Government has been clamping down on land barons across the country, with some having already appeared before the courts, while illegal settlements have been demolished.
Vice President Mohadi, who commissioned 223 serviced medium density housing stands at the growth point that were jointly developed by Masvingo Rural District Council and the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities, said irregular settlements had no place in Zimbabwe.
The Second Republic under President Mnangagwa valued order and lawfulness, he said.
VP Mohadi warned against perpetuating a culture of lawlessness in critical areas such as housing that had a bearing on Vision 2030.
“What we are now doing is a departure from the era of land barons and the associated parasitic culture,” he said. “Through this action (Nemamwa Housing Project), Government is showing its commitment to the establishment of lawful settlements. No more shall your Government brook unplanned settlements.
“Let those with ears hear and take heed that irregular settlements no longer have a place in our country. We are a people of order and we simply need order.” At least 500 000 new modern houses have to be built countrywide within the next decade to stem the housing backlog and end homelessness. The crafting of a National Human Settlement Policy is underway, amid hopes it would steer the country towards the attainment of Vision 2030. The policy covers both rural and urban areas.
“The new policy will be inclusive of the rural areas as it is Government’s wish that no one is left behind in attaining Vision 2030,” VP Mohadi. “This vision seeks to make Zimbabwe an upper middle-income society by year 2030.” Through the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities, a National Housing Delivery Programme has been drawn up to deliver 200 000 housing units countrywide in the medium term and 500 000 in the next decade.
VP Mohadi said the housing delivery programme will be based on home ownership and will significantly reduce the national housing backlog estimated at around one million.
Opportunities for local economies and the national economy abound under the National Housing Delivery Programme expected to breathe life in local industries involved in the manufacture of building materials and components. VP Mohadi said the Urban Renewal Programme that was being implemented in Sakubva (Mutare), Makokoba (Bulawayo) and Mbare (Harare) was testimony of Government’s commitment to upgrading blighted infrastructure in old settlements to meet modern standards.
He chronicled the history of the World Habitat Day, which falls on the first Monday of October annually since 1985 when it was inaugurated by the United Nations. In his address, National Housing and Social Amenities Minister Daniel Garwe said Government wanted shopping malls to be opened in peri-urban areas to de-congest major cities and towns.
VP Mohadi handed over offer letters to three physically-challenged people from around Nemamwa who were given stands for free.