THE construction of houses for more than 7,000 youths just outside Bulawayo begins next week, with another 150,000 youths expected to benefit from the second phase. Thousands of Zanu-PF supporters from Bulawayo yesterday thronged Umvutshwa Village just outside the city for the ground breaking ceremony of the first phase of the residential housing scheme.
The Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Cde Saviour Kasukuwere, told the gathering that his Ministry would next week roll out the project with the assistance of the Urban Development Corporation (Udcorp). He said the new area would accommodate not less than 7,000 young people, adding that 40,000 youths have already registered to benefit from the project.
“We’re fulfilling the promise we made to the people of Bulawayo and the direction we were given by President Mugabe to empower people and make sure that they have decent accommodation. The youths made a request to the leadership and we’re here to fulfill it.
“The process of expanding the housing delivery project starts next week and there’s no going back. Town planning is underway and Udcorp has done the topographical survey. Registration of the interested youths is also underway and offices have been opened in the city centre,” said Cde Kasukuwere. He said the project would also create employment for the youths, most of whom have no jobs.
“These homes will be built by the youths. This is how we will create jobs. The builders, carpenters, plumbers and engineers are already here. All we need is to start the project. We don’t want people from other provinces to come and do the work for us. We’re going to come up with a careful system that won’t allow other people to come and grab opportunities here.
“We know that most youths are not employed and they have no money. We’ve therefore come up with a payment plan where the youths will pay a small amount of money towards the construction of the houses,” said the Minister. He accused the MDC-T led Bulawayo City Council of not prioritising the provision of houses in the city.
“The council is worried about selling stands and making money. That’s why they are against this project. We will continue with this project and make sure that our youths have decent accommodation, electricity and clean water. “We will also make sure that the beneficiaries have title deeds for their houses.
“As Zanu-PF we’re in the business of delivering not promising. We’ve also identified another town for the people of Bulawayo with 7,000 hectares of land. This will accommodate more than 150,000 people. Let’s use this programme to develop our economy,” said Cde Kasukuwere.
The Minister of State for Bulawayo Provincial Affairs, Cde Nomthandazo Eunice Moyo, urged the youths to take ownership of the project and work hard. “What we’re witnessing here today is a clear sign that President Mugabe loves the people of Bulawayo and is concerned about our wellbeing.
“I want to encourage the youths to take ownership of this project, hold on to it and work hard to ensure its success. The project will be handled by the local government ministry and Udcorp. I want the youths to co-operate and do as they are told because this is a project they will benefit from,” said Cde Moyo.
The Deputy Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Cde Christopher Chingosho and the Permanent Secretary, Mr George Mlilo, Tourism Deputy Minister Cde Annastacia Ndlovu, members of the Zanu-PF Politburo and Central Committee, senior government and Zanu-PF officials as well as Udcorp officials attended the ground breaking ceremony.