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Harare seeks to extend master plan deadline

Local News
Harare mayor Jacob Mafume yesterday called an urgent special full council meeting to deliberate on the matter.

HARARE City Council has resolved to approach the government to extend the deadline for the production of a master plan by at least two months, saying residents have pleaded with the city fathers to continue with consultations.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa in November last year ordered all the country’s 92 councils to come up with master plans by June 30 this year.

Mnangagwa said local authorities should have master plans to curb the sprouting of haphazard settlements.

Harare mayor Jacob Mafume yesterday called an urgent special full council meeting to deliberate on the matter.

He, however, expressed confidence that council will meet Mnangagwa’s deadline, but said residents had requested them to ask the government to extend the deadline by at least two months.

“We are confident of meeting the deadline because we have the biggest planning department in the country. We have highly qualified personnel  and we have done over five area plans in terms of the law,” Mafume said.

“I called the special full council meeting so that I brief the councillors on the meeting I held with residents who are saying on their behalf, we should approach the ministry and ask for extension of consultations by at least two months.”

He said the Harare master plan was more expensive to come up with compared to those of other local authorities.

Mafume indicated that there is need for more data gathering because Harare, as Zimbabwe’s capital, is very big.

Harare residents recently exposed the Harare City Council for reportedly trying to smuggle a master plan produced without their input, contrary to the law.

Officials at Town House allegedly started working on the master plan without a consultant as stipulated by law.

Residents called on the government to reject the proposed master plan and petitioned Local Government and Public Works minister Daniel Garwe and Harare City Council over the matter.

A city master plan is a blueprint, typically spanning 10 to 15 years, that guides the city’s growth and development and also acts as a roadmap, outlining the city’s vision for the future and the strategies to achieve it.

Harare’s last master plan was unveiled in 1996.

Harare City Council has reportedly budgeted US$3 million to develop the city’s new master plan to comply with the government directive for all local authorities to finalise long-term development blueprints by June 30 this year.

While most local authorities across Zimbabwe engaged consultants from as early as January this year, Harare City only announced the award of a tender for the master plan on June 6 a few weeks before the deadline.

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