HARARE – President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF government, though it is too early to pass a verdict, appears to have set itself on delivering to long-suffering Zimbabweans.
Directly or indirectly, the government has provision of housing to impoverished and low income earners among its top priorities, at least judging by what is unfolding in post July 31.
A local building society is constructing 3 000 houses in Harare’s high density suburb of Budiriro following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Harare City Council to set up a $15 million housing project.
The building society also has projects worth $101 million which have been approved for low, medium and high cost housing projects.
Another project involving United States philanthropist and billionaire software tycoon, Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, is set to provide 480 houses to impoverished communities in Dzivaresekwa.
This project is being spearheaded by women, through the efforts of the Zimbabwe Homeless Peoples Federation.
Thanks to the partnership between Harare City Council and the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, beneficiaries will only contribute $1 per month.
The five-roomed houses cost between $4 000 and $8 000 per unit and these housing units will also go a long way in energy preservation as solar energy will be used to power them.
Environmental management will also be taken care of by the beneficiaries of the scheme who intend to undertake a waste management project which will see them recycling plastic and paper to generate income.
The project will not only see several low income people receive habitable shelter but will go a long way in reducing slums which are fast becoming a norm in the world’s cities.
Government and its partners’ efforts are encouraging as they come at a time when slums were beginning to mushroom in almost every township.
According to UN Habitat the world’s slum population has grown by 75 million.
Bill and Melinda Gates’ project has also Mbare in its sights but deferred the housing project due to Chipangano’s interference.
It remains every well-meaning Zimbabwe’s hope to see the Bill and Melinda Gates housing project taking off in Mbare.
The housing projects help Zimbabwe address the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) goal number 1 which is of eradicating extreme poverty by creating employment.
While it is still a long way to achieve housing for the greater part of the population, signs are there that with honesty and transparency, Mugabe’s government can ease the living conditions of the majority of the populace.