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Friday, July 12, 2024

Govt moves to restore sanity in urban development

Story by Tichaona Kurewa

GOVERNMENT is set to develop a comprehensive database for land developers to monitor their activities and restore sanity in urban development.

Government has temporarily suspended the sale of state land after reports of unethical practices, corruption and other malpractices detrimental to development.

This has prompted government to develop a database for land developers to monitor their activities and protect the citizenry.

Local Government and Public Works Minister Honourable Daniel Grace told ZBC News in Victoria Falls recently that the land developers’ database will precede the lifting of the moratorium on the sale of state land.

“We want to identify real estate actors, have a cluster of those and say we now want to focus on urban renewal, we now want to focus on the construction of new cities, construction of smart cities .We want people who are tried and tested, people with a track record, people with financial capacity, people who can attract the best expertise. We are tired of having people masquerading as developers, meanwhile they have nothing other than his two legs going forward and backwards.

“You are aware that His Excellency issued a moratorium on the sale of urban land because we want to carry out an extensive audit of how much urban land has been sold out there and to who, how has it been developed. If its urban state land, how many people were given tracks of land and on the contract they have with government, was government fairly treated in terms of receiving commonage for onward selling to civil servants and other citizens of the country. That’s what we want to do, so for now we are not selling or we are not processing any applications for land for development. That process will see us coming up with decent real estate actors going forward,” he said.

Players in the industry are clear on their role in urban development.

“It’s a very strategic relationship and partnership to attract private capital that private land developers can access and bring it into public space with emphasis to improve the built environment,” noted Homelux, Group Managing Director, Mr Justin Machibaya.

Zimre Managing Director, Mr Edson Muvingi weighed in, Private capital into public spaces, into public infrastructure reduces the burden on public entities in terms of mobilising resources for the specific developments we are doing. Government has the land, and the cities but private persons or corporates they have the capital to bring in and change the environment that we are living in.”

The data base will contain information on track record, previous projects, outstanding violations and citizen complaints, signifying government’s growing focus on sustainable and ethical urban development for the benefit of communities.

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