At least 1 800 stand owners in Caledonia have been shortlisted for title deeds as the Second Republic walks the talk on the regularisation of settlements in line with its National Housing Delivery Policy anchored in the National Development Strategy.
This comes as Epworth residents continue to receive title deeds in batches after President Mnangagwa initiated the process when he delivered the first 350 title deeds to residents of Epworth in April this year as the Government steps up its empowerment drive.
Speaking after the Tuesday Cabinet meeting, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said mapping of settlements had been done against the approved layout plans. “The Zimbabwe National Geo-Spatial Agency (ZINGSA) has completed the targeted mapping of all the settlements in Epworth, Harare South and Caledonia in Harare Metropolitan Province, Cowdray Park in Bulawayo, and Gimboki in Mutare. Title deeds have already been issued to some beneficiaries in Epworth, while in Caledonia 1 800 beneficiaries have been shortlisted for issuance of title deeds,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
She said progress recorded in Phase 2 of the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP 2) included 92,6 km of road that had been constructed, re-constructed or rehabilitated, 1 218,5 km gravelled or re-gravelled, 4 556,7 km having had potholes patched, 2 282 drainage structures constructed, and bush and verge clearing was done on 3 860 km.
“Government has continued to provide funds to ensure continuation of flagship projects such as Cowdray Park and the Beitbridge-Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Road. On a related matter, the blitz maintenance of roads leading to polling stations is on course to meet targets to ensure that they are accessible ahead of the polling date, 23 August,” she said.
“On the Wetlands Management Programme, awareness campaigns carried out by the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) have resulted in voluntary requests from landowners for ecological assessments of their properties, particularly in Harare Metropolitan Province.” The land users were advised of the appropriate protective measures to apply when using the land in a permitted way.
She said Government will not relent on prosecution of land and space barons.
“Regarding the prosecution of land and space barons, and finalisation of the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Bill, the number of dockets opened for land baron cases has increased to 270 from the 188 dockets reported in March 2023. The total number of arrests has risen to 367, compared to the 347 previously reported, while cases pending trial stand at 89, up from 77.
“Finalised cases increased to 137 from the 68 reported in March 2023. Concerning amendment of the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act, Cabinet advises that the Ministry of Industry and Commerce has prepared the relevant draft Bill. The Bill will soon be presented to stakeholders as part of the consultative process,” she said.
Government policy was to ensure that suitable facilities were in place where micro and small businesses could operate safely.
“Under housing cooperatives and the provision of workspaces for micro, small and medium enterprises, Cabinet notes that the Great Zimbabwe University has submitted a draft report on the review of the cooperative model in Zimbabwe, which is being validated.
“The provision of decent workspaces to micro, small and medium enterprises, has begun to pick up momentum, as indicated by progress at the following projects: Mutapa Factory Shells, Gweru; Gwanda Vendor Marts, Gwanda Urban; Chiredzi SME Centre; Masvingo Safe Market; and Chikomba SME Hub.”
In another matter, Minister Mutsvangwa said Government had released funds for establishment of gold centres.
“Government has released funds for the operationalisation of three gold centres at Makaha in Mashonaland East, Mukaradzi in Mashonaland Central and Penhalonga in Manicaland. This will go a long way in ensuring that gold produced by artisanal miners is efficiently mobilised, thus increasing revenues accruing to Government as part of the process towards the attainment of a US$12 billion mining industry this year,” she said.