Homelink launches Tynwald project as Kasukuwere calls for order in housing delivery
RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) subsidiary Homelink says it will spend at least US$8 million to develop its Tynwald housing project in Harare.
Servicing of stands started in mid-June and is expected to end mid-November while construction of houses is expected to start soon after.
Speaking at a ground breaking ceremony at the project site last Thursday, Homelink chief executive officer Stellamaris Chorwira said at least 100 housing units would be built while 80 fully serviced stands would be availed to customers, preferably those in the Diaspora.
Chorwira said the move was a strategy to source foreign currency inflows into the country, which has faced persistent liquidity challenges.
“Mobilization of capital from outside Zimbabwe helps to avoid overcrowding the local capital markets,” she said.
“Also current local costs are inhibitive resulting in uncompetitive prices of goods and services.”
Speaking at the same event, Homelink board chairman Morris Mpofu said implementing such projects would assist improve Diaspora remittances.
“This project seeks to foster Diaspora driven economic development,” he said.
“The project further seeks to revitalize the Homelink brand, improve its visibility, make it competitive.”
RBZ governor Dr John Mangudya said foreign remittances were an integral feature in economic development.
He said at the moment at least 25 percent of all foreign exchange in the country was coming through Diaspora remittances, highlighting that more needed to be done to harness these.
“We want to go beyond remittances for food and paying school fees. We want to go towards making them (people in the Diaspora) bring money for investment,” Dr Mangudya said.
“We want foreign currency to come into the country, we want liquidity in this country.”
He said similar schemes were lined up across the country and appealed for more land from the government and local authorities.
Official estimates suggest that Diaspora remittances to Zimbabwe will increase to $1 billion this year up from about $800 000 last year.
Demand for affordable housing in Zimbabwe continues to swell but accessibility is difficult due to population growth, urbanization and rising costs of building materials.
Meanwhile Local Government, Public Works and National Housing minister Saviour Kasukuwere players in the housing delivery sector need to get organised and start operating under a monitored and regulated environment.
Kasukuwere who was guest of honour at the ground breaking ceremony said the chaotic situation that had prevailed gave birth to land barons who duped genuine housing seekers.
“Time has come to get this sector organised, there has been quite a bit of chaos for some time. We cannot proceed with a situation where the land barons are now leading government and town authorities lagging behind. Land barons have made a fortune while we watched…we say said no to this chaos,” he said.
“Those who are going to be in the housing delivery system must be banked, monitored and regulated,” he said.
Kasukuwere said those who are holding land for speculation purposes without development risk having their leases withdrawn as it is state land.
He said Government had made too many commitments over the years which were not followed through but the time had come for things to change.-FinX