Govt must clean its housing mess

Govt must clean its housing mess


ZIMBABWE – The Chitungwiza Residents’ Trust has welcomed Government’s decision to ban housing cooperatives saying they received the news with a sigh of relief.

CHITREST say this is a positive move considering a lot of people had lost money to bogus land developers, barons and housing co-operatives through either double-allocations of housing stands or being settled on illegal land.

“The mushrooming of informal settlements in most urban areas has resulted in house demolitions and forced evictions with Harare metropolitan province being principally affected.

“CHITREST nevertheless holds the Government responsible for all the mess that had been left obtaining for years in the housing delivery sector as it failed to regulate the activities of land developers, barons and housing co-operatives through a housing policy framework.

“The Government after failing on its mandate to “enable every person to have access to adequate shelter” as stipulated in section 28 of the Constitution then surrendered its obligations to profit-driven players,” revealed CHITREST.

They however are concerned by the appointment of Urban Development Corporation, as they feel the latter can fail in its mandate.
“Of grave concern is the appointment by Government of the Urban Development Corporation (UDCORP) to be responsible for housing provision and infrastructural development at a time when the majority of parastatals are struggling and failing to deliver their mandates owing to lack of funding, UDCORP is also bound to fail.

“In 2015, UDCORP was assigned to bring sanity to Chitungwiza’s land management issues but the mayhem continued unabated even after the parastatals intervention.

“The issuance of estate development powers and authority inside or outside a council area or in a local government area, that is, the
administration, control and management to UDCORP is a violation of the Urban Councils Act (29:15).

“It is also in contravention with the provisions of section 264 of the constitution on the devolution of Governmental powers and responsibilities,” added CHITREST.

While they had welcomed the ban on housing cooperatives, CHITREST believe bringing in all stakeholders will help to manage the “chaotic nature of land allocations and management systems.”

“Some of the key stakeholders include but are not limited to local authorities, land developers, the business community, housing co-operatives, the financial services sector, development partners, residents’ representatives such as residents associations and civil society organisations among others,” added CHITREST.

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