21 000 Households Face Displacement In Urban Centres

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By Robert Tapfumaneyi

GOVERNMENT says the number of Zimbabwean households facing displacement stands at a national total of 21 852 with Harare Metropolitan Province topping the list.

Presenting a post-cabinet media briefing Tuesday, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the provision of relief to distressed households, and identification of relocation areas, will continue across all the provinces in order for corrective action to be taken.

“The number of households facing displacement stands at a national total of 21 852,” Mutsvangwa said.

“Harare Metropolitan Province tops the list at 15 713 households, followed by Mashonaland East (1 947), Manicaland (1 683), Mashonaland Central (622), Masvingo (575) Bulawayo (549), Matabeleland South (532), Matabeleland North and Midlands at 105 each, and Mashonaland West (21).

“The production of appropriate housing plans and architectural designs which promote settlement densification through high-rise structures is a pre-requisite for the provision of housing to families faced with relocation.

“In this regard, cabinet was informed that the plans and designs have now been produced through collaboration between the Ministries of National Housing and Social Amenities and Local Government and Public Works.

“They are mainly the H-type with two and three-bedroomed units and target low income earners.”

Mutsvangwa added, “Modifications can also be availed for middle income earners and building brigades will be revived.”

She also said the designs will accommodate public facilities at the ground floor, and include WIFI centres, a community hall with ablutions, an amusement area, a play centre and a pre-school.

“Other amenities will entail shops, a pharmacy, a surgery, and a hair salon. Liquor outlets and activities that require bulk storage and haulage are excluded,” the Information Minister said.

“Resources will be mobilised for the completion of all housing projects.”

Over the years, there has been an influx of land developers that would corruptly get into partnership with local authorities and illegally allocate housing stands to desperate home seekers on state land.

The move was worsened by politically connected housing cooperatives and land barons who invaded and parcelled out State land across the country with impunity.

Some of the houses were railway servitudes, under powerlines and sewer lines.