Civil servants stand prices set •Cabinet pegs $4 per square metre •SSB to handle payments •Move to ensure affordability

Eng Mlilo

Eng Mlilo

Felex Share Senior Reporter—
Cabinet has directed that residential stands being offered to civil servants as part of non-monetary incentives, be pegged at $4 per square metre to ensure affordability. Beneficiaries will pay an additional $1 as administration fee. All payments will be made through the Salary Services Bureau. This comes as more civil servants unions on Tuesday submitted nearly 113 000 names of aspiring beneficiaries.

A square metre of land in the high-density suburbs of Harare costs $4, while the same costs between $20 and $25 in low-density areas. The prices however, differ in smaller urban centres like Kadoma, with a square metre of land in high-density areas costing $2, while one will have to part with at least $5 for the same size of land in low-density areas.

Numbers of beneficiaries under the scheme are expected to balloon because Government is taking on board every civil servant, including those not members of the Apex Council. The list will, however, assist Government in allocating land in various cities and towns.

Secretary for Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Engineer George Mlilo yesterday said while stands were not for free, Government wanted to ensure they were affordable.

“We met with the workers on Tuesday and looked at the charges which people expect. The route is that it is a partnership between Government and civil servants where Government will make available land, not for free. As directed by Cabinet, the land will be going for $4 per square metre and an additional dollar will go towards administration fees.”

He added: “Urban Development Corporation (Udcorp) will service the land and all payments will be made through the Salary Services Bureau. “Beneficiaries will pay for on-site servicing and off site servicing. After paying the civil servants will get their title deeds.

“This facility is not for the Apex Council only, but the entire civil service regardless of grades and affiliation. People will choose the areas they need.”

During the meeting on Tuesday, Apex Council members and the Government team fine-tuned a Memorandum of Understanding which involves three signatories namely Apex Council, the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing and the Udcorp.

The MoU will be signed next week to pave way for the implementation of the project. Apex Council chairperson Mrs Cecilia Alexander said they had submitted 112 952 names to Government.

She said Harare had 23 483 potential beneficiaries, Manicaland 14 275, followed by Midlands (12 887), Mashonaland East (10 125), Bulawayo (9 352), Mashonaland West (9 098), Masvingo (5 938) and Mashonaland Central (9 061).

Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South provinces have a combined 18 733 registered potential beneficiaries. “The consolidated figures are clear evidence that the scheme has been well received by civil servants,” Mrs Alexander said.

“We have submitted the statistics to the Ministry of Local Government in a technical meeting which was very fruitful. Among other things, we also fine-tuned the MoU which involves three parties. We will sign the MoU next week and also look at the implementation matrix but the technical committee is ready to deliver.”

Mrs Alexander applauded Government for making the stands affordable. “We also agreed to the idea of bringing every worker on board. The technical committee has also agreed to include a representative from the CSC. Apex Council has been inclusive by incorporating without conditions lists from the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and prisons.”

Housing delivery is one of the key goals of Zim-Asset and Government intends to provide 300 000 units by 2018. The housing scheme will go a long way in cushioning civil servants who have seen many schemes being established in their names but benefiting outsiders and political bigwigs.

This has resulted in many Government workers being duped by so-called land barons.

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  • yowe

    This is a good initiative at least zvinenge zvine matitle deeds…

    • Confused Zimbabweans

      Why is government not giving title deeds to the other schemes like Willowvale houses and flats, Mufakose Tafara etc Civil servants musabirwe mari nevanhu vasisadiwe ava. I hope mari yacho haizoendi kunoita muchato wemumwe mwana wekumba hombe

    • Fred Moyo

      2018 beckons!

  • Ray Mbada

    Sometimes when we manage to come up with a noble idea like this, we tend to forget some simple things: Some members already have stands but given that this is cheaper, being handed to people as an incentive and that the people at large are just corrupt, those with stands already will be the first to grab and sell the same at exorbitant prices. Why can’t we search for other incentives for those who already have stands? Why can’t we look for ways of making some of us self reliant where such is possible and then proceed with issuing of stands to those who don’t have other stands?

    Just my thinking, we can’t be up there to make decisions but through such contributions, we really are there with you. Let me not forget to congratulate you for the initiative and also your inclusion of those who are not in some affiliates like Colaz, Z.C.T. U. and the like.

  • uhuru

    yes a very good initiative indeed but lets talk about feasibilty of this whole thing. At $4 per m2 it will mean 150m2 will cost $600. The stands will need to be serviced using that $600 water and electricity provided using that $600. This coming from a government which is broke i dont think its feasible will only lead to more squatter camps the way i see it. I think this is just a government move to raise its coffers which have hit critical. Beware also of our dear friend corruption. At least it has title deeds thats the upside of it.

  • Thomas Ngilazi Xitlhangu

    For the first time herald reported a story about government programme without mentioning his excellency rgm. We getting somewhere

    • commandant

      I am also nolonger sure who these servants are, first ndivo vanowana maloans everywhere, ikozvino vowana dzimba pamusoro pedzimwe dzemamwe mascheme akaita seana”pay for your house scheme” dzavagara vanadzo, kwatinogara macivil servants ndiwo malandlord edu, saka seiko vachingopiwa isu tiri kumarara?Rega nditojoina ZANU hangu ini

  • Mimi

    Hmm… I stand to be corrected but this housing scheme leaves a lot of unanswered questions. 1. Depending on how big the stand(s) – how long will SSB take to take back their monies for these stands considering that most civil servants are paid way below the poverty datum line?
    How can the stands be $4/$5 everywhere, some cities/growth points are not as valuable as others.
    Apa pane zvisiri kunyatsotaurwa apa, I think civil servants should watch out… Akuruma nzeve ndewako!

  • Bwedebwese

    My arithmetic is giving me at least $11 per square metre as the final unit price of these stands, after taking into account at least $6 on-site servicing cost. The $11 does not incude off-site services (trunk roads; refuse dumps; sewage plants; water plants)