Mapping of seven urban suburbs in the title formalisation process is now complete and while that process continues with the next suburbs on the list, the first stand owners being processed are now acquiring their title deeds under the programme announced by President Mnangagwa early this year.
In Harare’s Caledonia suburb, where the first deeds are likely to be issued under the programme that requires initial mapping, 7 523 house owners will benefit.
Government is also going after the land barons who caused so much of the problem in the first place and has intensified investigations and prosecution of land barons. Many fleeced unsuspecting home-seekers of thousands of United States dollars each.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Acting Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere said after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting that the progress report on emergency preparedness and disaster management was presented in Cabinet by Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo with progress on the development required and title formalisation in this report.
“Government is also mapping urban settlements against approved layout plans in order to pave way for the issuance of title deeds to deserving beneficiaries. Cabinet is pleased to announce that the mapping of Caledonia, Hopley, Saturday Retreat, Cowdray Park, Gimboki (Mutare), Karoi and Victoria Ranch (Masvingo) has been completed, while that of Eyrecourt Farm is underway.”
“The exercise to process title deeds for Caledonia is on course, with 7 523 beneficiaries being targeted under Phases 1 to 3, and 925 stand owners have started the process of acquiring title deeds for their properties. Government is using new technology spearheaded by the Zimbabwe National Geo-Spatial Agency, in order to expedite the mapping exercise and, therefore, the issuance of title deeds.
“The issuance will proceed simultaneously with the provision of basic infrastructure and services,” said Minister Muswere.
This was in line with the enhanced emergency preparedness and disaster management programme embarked on by Government to provide relief to distressed households in dysfunctional, illegal, and irregular settlements, including those settled on wetlands and flood-prone areas.
Minister Muswere said 347 land barons had been arrested as Government intensifies the fight against the scourge.
“In terms of the scourge of land barons, Cabinet highlights that efforts have been intensified to prosecute offenders. A total of 347 arrests were made, and 91 cases are before the courts, while 57 have since been finalised, with 6 convictions having been made. Investigations have been intensified, and Government takes this opportunity to assure the nation that all offenders will be brought to book and that no one is above the law,” said Minister Muswere.
Cabinet was also briefed on the status of Government housing projects.
“Construction works on the four funded blocks of flats at Dzivarasekwa, which are being constructed to house relocated households, stand at 58,33 percent completion.
“At the Senga Messengers’ Camp in Gweru, four blocks of flats are currently under construction by a private contractor, and an additional four blocks are being constructed at the site by Government.
“Four blocks of flats are also under construction in Marondera, while in Lupane the contractor has since moved to the site to commence operations for the construction of residential flats at the Government offices’ site,” he said.
Minister Muswere said Cabinet received an update on the preparedness for the 41st Shelter Afrique Annual General Meeting and Symposium to be held in Victoria Falls, from July 25-29, presented by National Housing and Social Amenities Minister Daniel Garwe.
There will be a ground-breaking ceremony and laying of a foundation stone to be held on the official opening day that will also mark the launch of 3 000 flats and houses to be funded by Shelter Afrique in Zimbabwe.
Cabinet approved two investment projects recommended by the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency, as was presented by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube.
They are the proposed partnership between Government and Scout Aerial Africa (Pvt) Limited for an aeromagnetic survey of the Shackleton Tenements mining claims and the proposed partnership between the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development and Zimbabwe Merchantile Exchange (Pvt) Limited on the establishment of the Zimbabwe Commodities Exchange.
Government had engaged Scout Aerial Africa, a local company, for the aeromagnetic survey and production of a drilling programme, drilling plans, and a map indicating potential zones to mine within the Shackleton claims and Mhangura extension.
For the Zimbabwe Commodity Exchange, Cabinet approved the private-public shareholding structure: Finsec 22.5 percent, TSL 22.5 percent, CBZ Bank 35 percent, and Government represented by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development at 20 percent.
Commenting on the Zimbabwe Commodity Exchange, Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube said it was a huge development for farmers.
“The advantage of this is that it will allow us to have a better price discovery process for the commodities that are traded on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and once the farmer has a warehouse receipt for any grain that is deposited anywhere, that commodity receipt will be used as collateral for any loans going forward,” said Prof Ncube.