By Staff Reporter
Speakers at a round-table discussion, panelists took turns to condemn the government’s housing policy arguing that it was politically motivated and not aimed at solving housing issues affecting mainly urban areas.
Speaking at the round-table discussion held at Media Centre on the 21st of June 2016 under the theme Zimbabwe Local Government land distribution policy: An act of good faith or a campaign strategy?’ panelists expressed their discontent with the move by Zanu –PF to use land as a campaign tool so as to lure 2018 votes .
Marvellous Khumalo, director of Chitungwiza Residents Trust (Chitrest) bemoaned the lack of transparency in the provision of housing. “We have seen government becoming both the regulator and at the same time trying to be the key player in the provision of housing .We have seen now it seems the sole responsibility of housing provision lies within the government.”
He went on to express how land is used as a tool lure votes come elections. “Zimbabwe’s electoral landscape is a matter of dangling carrots – (vote buying to be precise) and land is one of the commodities abused during the electoral cycle” said Khumalo
Khumalo highlighted that Zanu-PF is already preparing for 2018 election. “It is not by coincidence that Honorable Minister Kasukuwere , the Political Commissar in Zanu-PF was recently appointed Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing by his excellency comrade Robert Mugabe in September 2015 cabinet reshuffle. Mugabe is not mad he knows what he is doing already Zanu-PF is in the campaign mode, Zanu PF is in an election mode”
Movement for Democratic Change Tsvangirai (MDC T) Shadow Minister for Local Government, Eddie Cross also expressed his displeasure with housing stands which have been given to people without basic amenities. He castigated the government for giving instruction to the councils to take over the housing stands which are along the periphery of towns and cities without funding the exercise.
“Hopely Farm is now being co-opted into the city of Harare and without even consulting the city, they get a written instruction from Kasukuwere ,you will implement service provision at Hopely farm .There is 120 000 people who need water “said Cross
Cross acknowledged the land distribution as the biggest land distribution exercise in Zimbabwe in history but called it criminal as home seekers are not being given title deeds and there are no basic amenities where they are given residential land.