Yeukai Karengezeka Municipal Correspondent
Government has roped in Harare City Council on the Mbare Renewal Project which will see the construction of new infrastructure in the capital’s oldest township, town clerk Engineer Hosiah Chisango has said.
The initiative was spearheaded by Government, through the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, which is working on new city designs and urban regeneration projects based on the concept of the modern and self-contained smart city.
Eng Chisango made the remarks recently during the launch of the Urban Renewal Programme, which will see most of the dilapidated buildings in the central business district being renovated by the owners as a way of luring investors.
“The Urban Renewal Programme will see us carrying out various initiatives such as the Mbare Renewal Project which we will work on with Central Government.
“It is a project which will make us compete with the best cities in the region in terms of infrastructure, architecture, service delivery, facilities, its beauty and aesthetics,” he said.
He said the city was going to consult the housing sector to be guided on current trends in infrastructure.
“To that end, we will soon be starting public consultations in the housing sector so that we can be guided on the proper Human Settlements Policy that speaks to current trends in housing and guide us as we move to establishing decent housing and infrastructural development,” Eng Chisango said.
Eng Chisango said the objective of the project was to return the city to its sunshine city status as the dilapidated state of buildings in the central business district was driving away investors.
“There is a lot of urban decay, especially in the central business district which is driving out business to other investment centres, some outside the country.
“The appearance of most city buildings is not doing us any favours in attracting investment,” he said.
He said owners of the buildings were supposed to comply before council invokes by-laws.
“The onus to renovate lies with property owners, with the city council playing a complementary role.
“We, therefore, expect property owners to follow our by-laws without us coming heavy on anyone as stipulated by our statutes.
“Council statutes stipulate that buildings must be repainted and redecorated at least once every two years or so to improve the beauty, ambience and health standards,” said Eng Chisango.