MASHONALAND East Provincial Affairs minister Aplonia Munzverengi yesterday blasted Marondera council officials for doing little to develop the town.
Speaking during a tour of Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle and other settlements by National Housing and Social Amenities minister Daniel Garwe, Munzverengi said it was a pity that Marondera council had failed to fully plan its land use to promote tourism in the farming town.
“It is a pity that we do not have even a big hotel in Marondera,” Munzverengi said. “We are failing to host conferences, we can’t host 10 ministers and their entourages. What is the town planner doing? What are the council officials doing to promote tourism?”
The local authority has been blasted by residents for not putting up proper planning mainly for converting available commercial land into residential stands.
Garwe said his ministry was ready to move in and ensure that social amenities are available in all settlements.
“It is our responsibility to provide social amenities in all human settlements. In the case of Marondera, we know there was land reserved for such infrastructure as hotels, but was converted to other uses. We need to identify new spaces for such features.
“I am disappointed with Marondera municipality. In 2020, they came to us looking for investors to develop this town, we secured that in the form of banks and other entities, but as we speak, the council is failing to come and sign the deals. The investors are now tired of chasing them,” he said.
Garwe said his ministry had embarked on a mission to stop illegal land deals in Seke and Goromonzi districts, where land is allegedly owned by a few individuals.
“In Seke, you do not know whether it is still a rural area or an urban area. We have people selling land for own use, we have to stop that. The same applies to Goromonzi district, we have few people owning several farms, a move which is affecting farming despite Goromonzi being a prime farming community.
“We need to do proper development and make sure land is being used properly,” he said.
Garwe said government would soon bring sanity to all Garikayi housing areas through construction of proper roads, sewer systems and water infrastructure, among other needs.
Garikayi/Hlalani Kuhle housing schemes were established by government to resettle victims of the infamous Operation Murambatsvina of 2005.