Construction of new flats underway in Byo Cde Daniel Garwe

Bulawayo Bureau

THE process of building flats for civil servants in Iminyela suburb, Bulawayo, as part of non-monetary benefits for Government employees, has started.

New flats will be built close to where Government constructed some flats for civil servants some years ago.

The latest construction project is still in its infancy and it will be financed through Shelter Afrique, a Pan-African institution in which Zimbabwe is a member state and has a US$25 million drawing credit.

Recently, Bulawayo City Council issued a public notice notifying residents of the council’s intention to sell land to the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities for the project.

National Housing and Social Amenities Minister Daniel Garwe confirmed the development in an interview with our bureau.

“This project will enable us to build about three to four blocks of flats. We are going to be mobilising financial resources from Shelter Afrique,” said Minister Garwe.

He said the project is part of Government’s efforts to provide 200 000 housing units by 2025.

Minister Garwe said civil servants will be prioritised in the project.

“We are going to be building housing flats all in line with the National Development Strategy 1 whose target is that we provide 200 000 housing units by 2025. 

“That project falls under that category. Civil servants will be prioritised in the provision of accommodation for that project,” said Minister Garwe.

Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Permanent Secretary, Mr Paul Nyoni, said engagements are ongoing between Government and the local authority relating to the deal. 

“Government requested for a piece of land where they could start building civil servants housing from the city council and the city council is in the process of providing that land. 

“The Iminyela story is part of that because there was a piece of land that the city council offered. As for the details of where they are, they will tell you,” said Mr Nyoni.

“The piece of land that they were offered is next to other Government flats. So council is in the process of formally ceding that land to Government. That will enable Government to start building housing for civil servants.”

He said provision of accommodation is part of the non-monetary incentives Government is aiming to provide for its workforce.

“Housing for civil servants is one of those non-monetary benefits that obviously encourage the workforce. 

“Housing is a key requirement for anybody and if housing can be provided it encourages and motivates staff in their work,” he said.

Bulawayo Town Clerk Mr Christopher Dube said: “Notice is hereby given in terms of Section 152 (2) of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15) that the Council intends to sell stand number 59993 Iminyela, measuring 3 718m² in extent as shown on Drawing Number TPA 9880 to Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities.”

He said the conditions of selling the land include that the land must be established for residential flats in Iminyela. 

“The purchase price shall be debited against the Government 10 percent commonage entitlement. Any developments on the stand should be in accordance with the council approved plans and relevant by-laws,” he said.

Mr Dube said anyone who is against the project should lodge their objections to council by Friday. 

Government is also working with the private sector to provide accommodation for employees where it sells State land at an affordable price and gets 10 percent of serviced stands which it parcels out to its employees.

Apart from the housing schemes, Government allows its employees to import vehicles duty free as part of the non-monetary incentives.

Government also pays school fees for teachers’ children among other measures including provision of affordable transport.

Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions secretary general, Mr David Dzatsunga, said providing accommodation dignifies workers and protects them from land barons. 

“It’s critical; there is nothing better than decent accommodation. People need to be provided with decent wages, dignified houses as opposed to what is happening where they have to be taken advantage of by land barons and other criminals who always want to take advantage of civil servants,” said Mr Dzatsunga.

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