Challenges dog govt’s housing projects

joy makumbe

THE National Housing and Social Amenities ministry says it is facing several challenges that include inadequate land, personnel and funding to spearhead construction projects.

National Housing and Social Amenities secretary Joy Makumbe said this when she appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Local Government to speak on the challenges the ministry was facing to complete some of its projects.

Makumbe also indicated that the ministry only had two engineers to supervise projects throughout the country.

“We have two engineers, one builder and one painter. We need technical staff as we want to build our own construction unit. You find out that with contractors everything has to go through the tendering process,” Makumbe said.

“We (however) have casual employees being employed by our human resources department. We have two sites in Lupane where they are working. The houses have been left uncompleted for the past 15 years,” she said.

Buhera South Member of Parliament Joseph Chinotimba then asked Makumbe to explain why the ministry was failing to employ its own construction personnel instead of depending on constructors.

“The ministry should have its own personnel so that we don’t need to contract. Even at your own home you can’t keep on begging for an axe from a neighbour. You can’t keep on requesting money to pay contractors,” Chinotimba said.

“The ministry is working on creating land banks to speed up its housing projects. That process involves getting land from the Lands ministry. It is bureaucratic as it also has to pass through the Local Government ministry. If we want to construct a block of flats, that issue has to go through the Lands ministry, then Local Government and finally to the National Housing ministry,” Makumbe explained.

“As a ministry, we are creating land banks where we want to set up district service centres and to build flats,” she added.

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