Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has condemned the displacement of thousands of unsuspecting residents during the clean up exercise (Murambatsvina) that swept across the country saying it worsened the housing situation in Harare.
Tsvangirai said some of the displaced people have still not found alternative accommodation.
“The Murambatsvina effects are still being felt and are still painful. It is not the duty of one to destroy people’s houses when you do not have alternative accommodation,” said Tsvangirai.
“In addition, we must not forget the devastating effect that Operation Murambatsvina had on urban residents and its damaging aftermath is still being felt today.”
Tsvangirai was speaking at the commissioning of the Willowvale Flats Phase 11 project in Harare last week.
It is one of the 11 projects identified for implementation under the National Housing Loan Facility.
National Housing and Social Amenities minister Giles Mutsekwa said his ministry would build flats to cater for more than 200 families.
“This project will involve the construction of 15 blocks of flats with a total of 240 units,” Mutsekwa said.
“The Kwekwe project is almost complete now and will deliver 740 serviced stands to the people of Kwekwe.
“The Sunway City project, which involves the servicing of 255 medium- density stands, is underway and is expected to be complete before the end of this year.”
Tsvangirai said the projects come at a time the government wants to improve basic human rights.
“This government is also determined to meet the housing objectives set under the Millennium Development Goals,” said Tsvangirai.
“This position was reflected in the Short- Term Emergency Recovery Programme and the Medium-Term Economic Development Plan 2010-2015 where emphasis is on provision of social infrastructure such as housing, health and education to uplift the living standards of our people.
“I would like to reiterate that housing is one of the critical areas which have been given high priority by my government, as demonstrated by the provision of $25 million this financial year to establish the National Housing Loan Facility, the results of which you are witnessing today.”
He said the project comes at a time when more than 500 000 people need accommodation in Harare alone.
“This National Housing Loan Facility is being launched at a time when our economy is recovering after a decade of poor management and destructive policy implementation,” the premier said.
“This has meant that for the past 10 years, the construction and building supply industries have been adversely affected by the resulting hyper-inflationary environment.
“This impacted negatively on housing construction programmes due to a shortage of building materials, lack of basic infrastructure services, as well as a lack of financing for construction projects and maintenance.”