Cabinet yesterday approved the Zimbabwe Independent Complaints Commission Bill, which will enable complains from members of the public against members of the security services to be investigated, while a raft of measures have been adopted to bring sanity to human settlements in line with global disaster risk reduction frameworks.
Speaking at a post-Cabinet briefing in Harare, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Senator Monica Mutsvangwa said the objective of the Bill was to provide for the establishment and outlining of the functions of the Zimbabwe Independent Complaints Commission in line with Section 210 of the Constitution.
“Cabinet considered and approved the principles for the Zimbabwe Independent Complaints Commission Bill as presented by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs,” she said.
“The objective is to provide for the establishment and functions of the Zimbabwe Independent Complaints Commission, thereby operationalising Section 210 of the Zimbabwe Constitution, which says an ‘Act of Parliament must provide an effective and independent mechanism for the receiving and investigating complaints from members of the public about misconduct on the part of members of the security services, and for remedying any harm caused by such conduct’.”
The commission will have other responsibilities besides investigating citizens’ complaints against security services details.
The Zimbabwe National Human Settlements Policy, presented by Vice President Kembo Mohadi, as the chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Social Services and Poverty Eradication, was also approved.
The policy is aimed at informing the implementation of relevant facets of Agenda 2030’s Sustainable Development Goals, Vision 2030 and national and international pliability frameworks.
“The policy will introduce a raft of changes that will ensure that planning, development and management of settlements is in line with national and international disaster risk reduction frameworks, and with environmental and climate change policies, laws and standards,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
The policy will assist in mitigating inequalities between rural and urban areas, as well as addressing housing and social amenities backlogs burdening local authorities.
It is envisaged that the implementation of the policy will significantly lead to a reduction in the cost of building materials and housing finance.
The settlements policy will among other issues provide for disaster risk assessments, environmental impact mitigation, climate change implications integration into rural and urban settlement planning, development and management.
To curb settlement stretch, 40 percent of land earmarked for human settlement will be set aside for the construction of high-rise flats and buildings.
“All State land earmarked for human settlements shall be managed through the ministry responsible for National Housing and Social Amenities and the respective local authorities for ease of coordination for accountability,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
“All local authorities will be expected to have spatial planning units manned by registered spatial planners. This committee and the sub-council structures will be responsible for development planning, control and facilitation in each local planning area.”
Among its key highlights, the policy will incorporate the provision of housing for the destitute, social institutions for orphans and the aged in human settlement planning.
Victims of natural disasters, like Cyclone Idai are set to benefit from the policy, which will be implemented through financing models that incorporate partnerships.