Patrick Chitumba Midlands Bureau Chief
THE Midlands province has surpassed the 50,000 housing units target set by the Government for the province amid indications that 80,000 people were allocated stands which are now at different stages of construction. The Minister of State for Midlands Provincial Affairs, Cde Jason Machaya, said this in an interview on the sidelines of a tour of a multimillion dollar housing project by a private land developer, River Valley Properties (RVP), in the newly established Woodlands suburb in Gweru yesterday.
The Minister said 6,000 people had benefited from the housing scheme alone. Under Zim-Asset, the Government expects to provide up to 300,000 residential stands by 2018, with the Midlands’s target pegged at 50,000. Cde Machaya said a total of 80,000 people in the province had housing stands with some having already completed constructing their dreams homes.
“I am happy that we are here to witness this housing project, a clear indication of a land developer that supports the Government’s national programme on housing delivery. Members of the public should be protected from land barons that have fleeced them of millions of dollars through illegal sales of residential stands on undesignated sites; this is therefore a welcome development for the city, province and the country at large. We were given a target to avail 50,000 residential stands to the people and 80,000 stands are at different stages of development,” he said.
Cde Machaya said such housing programmes were a good way of dealing with illegal settlements while at the same time reducing the number of people on the housing waiting lists. He said what remained was the provision of water and sewer services so that the beneficiaries have a healthy livelihood.
Mrs Smelly Dube, chief executive officer of RVP, said in support of Zim-Asset, they had successfully serviced the land with 16km of road network and 12km of sewer and water reticulation. She said the 6,000 beneficiaries at Woodlands suburb include civil servants and ordinary residents who were paying $80 a month towards the stands.
Mrs Dube said members of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) also had their own section with about 200 houses.
“This is a project started to support the Zim-Asset cluster on housing provision and we are nearing completion. 6,000 beneficiaries are here including civil servants. We are also going to give them title deeds to the stands as we work towards totally emancipating them,” she said.
Mrs Dube said Woodlands suburb also had a historic importance in that it had the Gushungo House-named after President Mugabe. She said it is President Mugabe’s wish that every Zimbabwean owns a decent house and her company was eager to play its part in making sure that his wishes are met.