HARARE City Council has resolved to demolish some of its ageing Mbare hostels to pave way for the construction of 10 000 modern housing units, NewsDay has learnt.
BY MOSES MATENGA
Mbare councillor, Martin Matinyanya said the move was meant to decongest and bring sanity to the populous suburb, where more than 10 people, in some instances, are cramped in a single room, as a result of shortage of accommodation.
“It’s indeed a good project. The flats need to be upgraded and people will have a decent life. Currently, the hostels are in a bad state, not conducive for people to stay in. In some cases, you find seven or eight people sleeping in one room,” he said.
“It is not well, as sometimes you have a family, meaning parents, elderly daughters and sons and their families, also dividing that one room and that is where they have to sleep, cook and eat.”
Matinyanya said the project, to be launched early this year, would also create employment for most Mbare youths. The latest project is being spearheaded by a Chinese company, China-Huashi, with the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) providing mortgage finance for the beneficiaries.
“The team (Chinese contractors) has settled for the Mbare hostels area as ideal, since the project may be two-pronged: new flats and the refurbishment of the existing once. The proposed project area has existing infrastructure though it requires upgrading,” the city’s education, health and community services committee noted in its December meeting.
The project will see the construction of 500 three-bedroomed houses, 4 500 two-bedroomed units, 4 500 one-bedroom units and 500 bedsitters, all with ablution facilities.
“The new flats would be developed on vacant spaces between exisiting hostels and residents would be moved into new flats then the old ones may either be demolished or refurbished depending with the engineering and architectural reports,” the report noted.