STANDS FOR A SONG

Cab­i­net pegs civil ser­vants’ hous­ing stands at $4 per square me­tre

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Felex Share

CAB­I­NET has di­rected that res­i­den­tial stands civil ser­vants are ex­pect­ing un­der a Gov­ern­ment non­mon­e­tary incentive scheme be pegged at $4 per square me­tre to en­sure af­ford­abil­ity.

The work­ers will pay an ad­di­tional $1 to­wards ad­min­is­tra­tion fees.

All pay­ments will be made through the Salary Ser­vices Bureau.

This comes as more civil ser­vants’ unions un­der the ban­ner Apex Coun­cil on Tues­day sub­mit­ted nearly 113 000 names of mem­bers seek­ing to ben­e­fit from the scheme.

The num­bers are ex­pected to bal­loon as the Gov­ern­ment has ex­panded the scheme to take 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.

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

“We met with the work­ers on Tues­day and looked at the charges which peo­ple ex­pect,” he said.

“The route is that it’s a part­ner­ship be­tween the Gov­ern­ment and civil ser­vants where the 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.”

A square me­tre of land in the high den­sity sub­urbs of Harare costs $4 while the same piece of land costs be­tween $20-$25 in the low den­sity prime ar­eas.

The prices dif­fer in the smaller ur­ban cen­tres like Kadoma, with a square me­tre of land in the high den­sity ar­eas cost­ing $2, while one will have to part with at least $5 for the same size of land in the low den­sity sub­urbs.

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 Udi­corp.

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 the 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’ve 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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