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President Mnangagwa commissions Aspindale Park and Aspire Heights Development, blasts land barons

Story by Josephine Mugiyo

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has challenged real estate investors, banks and corporates to unlock resources for the provision of modern housing infrastructure as the country works on reducing the accommodation backlog.

He was speaking when he officially commissioned the Aspindale Park and Aspire Heights Housing Development Project in Harare this Monday.

The provision of housing for the country’s citizenry is a key priority for the Second Republic.

With targets to meet, the government is working for hand in glove with the private sector to reduce the country’s housing backlog and the latest addition is Aspindale Park and Aspire Heights commissioned by President Mnangagwa this Monday.

It was a proud moment for the President who said the completion of the housing project delivered by Oxford Properties, highlights the confidence that investors have in the conducive environment fostered by the Second Republic.

President Mnangagwa noted, “This milestone by Oxford Properties is set to contribute to the realisation of housing delivery targets set in the National Development Strategy One.’’

‘‘I, therefore, commend Oxford Properties for complementing government efforts with regards to providing expanded, diversified and state-of-the-art housing options for the country’s home seekers. I am enthused that the development of over 1200 residential stands, a commercial centre as well as the ongoing development of 152 high-end residential apartments comes a few months after I commissioned the Madokero Mall here in Harare.

“I challenge other real estate investors and developers, banks, corporates as well as insurance and provident funds to continue unlocking resources for the provision of modern infrastructure for housing as well as commercial, industrial and SME enterprises.’’

President Mnangagwa also spoke against land barons who are often found wanting through the double allocation of stands to desperate home-seekers.

“One of the beneficiaries here spoke about land barons. She said people have suffered due to land barons, but in this scheme, there are no land barons. I then realised that the people I send to look for the land barons are the land barons themselves.”

He added that his government will continue to champion development in the country.

“Whether you like it or not when you close your eyes when you open them you will see development.”

The President also spoke on the need for land developers to operate in an orderly manner.

“By 2025, my ministry promises 225 000 houses. We do not want people to build haphazardly. We want things done in an orderly manner. Some of the houses I see when flying I doubt they even have addresses.”

As the urban settlements increase, the provision of ancillary services is key hence the President had no kind words for opposition-led urban councils who are failing to deliver despite collecting rates from residents.

“Local authorities are reminded that the provision of often interlinked and functional facilities remains imperative. After such beautiful houses are built, then the local authorities don’t collect garbage. They collect rates but look at the potholes. If they cannot deliver, we will look for those who can deliver.”

Focusing on rural communities, President Mnangagwa highlighted the development projects being carried out in areas like Kanyemba, where road and health facilities are being constructed.

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