Q & A:
*HON. SEN. MUMVURI: My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing. Minister, I will start by thanking you for flashing out land barons but when are they going to be prosecuted for their crimes? What is Government policy when constructing houses for the middle and low income groups? We realise that nobody is prepared to buy the houses after construction because the prices are beyond the reach of the intended target.
*THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE): Thank you Mr. President and I thank Hon. Sen. Mumvuri for such an important question. We realised that the land barons were illegally selling land after taking advantage of open spaces. This was a very big national problem but we are glad that we have now overcome this challenge. The land barons have been arrested and their cases are before the courts. We also realised that some of the land barons were selling land to multiple people. Some of them have been prosecuted and found guilty.
On the issue of Government policy regarding construction, but before I address the CABS/Budiriro Project, the first step is that Government had a working relationship with UDICORP which is part of the national housing programme so that everyone in Zimbabwe will own a house.
Whilst working in unison with UDICORP, we are constructing houses in conjunction with the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing. We are also allocating land to local authorities such as Bulawayo, Mutare and Harare. We resolved that land should be given to people who are registered on the waiting lists.
The third aspect is allocating land to responsible organisations to develop for allocation of stands. This is the case that made us look into the CABS saga. We realised that the problems that arose in the CABS Project were due to the amounts used in constructing the houses and CABS also wants a mortgage of $7 000.00.
We are aware of the fact that most of the beneficiaries of this scheme are small to medium entrepreneurs who cannot afford such amounts. Consequently, we are working together with CABS Building Society so that we come up with lower deposit terms and ensure people can afford the mortgage bonds.
Work is still in progress in other cases that do not involve such plans. I thank you.
Do you agree that the government has flashed out land barons?