In a clear sign Masvingo is heading for a major crisis, the municipality has run out of land to accommodate more than 7 000 residents on its waiting list.
The mayor, Alderman Femius Chakabuda, told NewsDay yesterday the council was in the process of identifying alternative land for housing to deal with the predicament.
He said the housing waiting list had jumped from 6 000 people last year to over 7 000 this year.
“Apart from the obvious reason of a population boom in the city and the country at large, there is increased rural-urban migration due to economic hardships,” Chakabuda said.
“Then there are civil servants in the province’s districts who want a home in town.”
He said the local authority’s efforts to reduce the huge backlog were being hampered by a critical shortage of land.
“We are doing our best to make sure those who applied do get stands to build their own houses.
“But one major challenge we are facing is lack of land for development,” Chakabuda said.
“I am sure you are aware that Masvingo is like an island which is surrounded by farms.
“We are currently negotiating with government for more land so that we can get more land from nearby farms.”