Sunday, 14 August 2016

DIASPORANS INVEST $1M IN BYO

A CONSORTIUM of Zimbabweans based outside the country has invested about $1 million in Bulawayo to develop upmarket town houses in the city.



In an interview after the groundbreaking ceremony in Hillside suburb on Friday, Comfort Creek Land Developers chief executive officer and head of the Zimbabwean Diaspora Network in North America Mr Pedzi Makumbe said the townhouse development was the company’s first project which would open doors for more investment in the country.

Mr Makumbe revealed that 60 percent of people in the diaspora were willing to make investments at home.

“A group of 50 people came together and put up the money to invest here. Through our interactions with both local and national Government and collaborations with Minister Patrick Chinamasa (Finance) and various ministries, we set up this project as diaspora remittances contribute to the GDP,” said Mr Makumbe.

The development project, Leandar Villas, is set to have 12-three bedroomed housing units enclosed in a complex.

According to Mr Makumbe, the network hired a Washington-based designer and collaborated with a local architect from HNB Simela Architects.

“We are building these houses to sell. At the moment, the Bulawayo City Council is approving the housing plans and this process should be done by November and we start construction then,” he said.
He said the estimated time frame for completion of the project was a year. Speaking on why the group decided to invest in Bulawayo, Mr Makumbe said the city was well-managed and has potential for growth.

He said the investment by the diaspora community was evidence of the possibility of partnerships between the Government and Zimbabweans living abroad to stimulate growth and improve the economy as well as create employment.

Stonebridge Real Estate director Mr Charles Charedzera commended the efforts of the diaspora community saying such investments were encouraged as they could go a long way in alleviating the housing backlog that the country is facing.

“From the situation on the ground, these people have enough resources and technical know-how to complete this project. It will not be one of those projects that are abandoned mid-way due to lack of funding or other challenges,” said Mr Charedzera.

According to statistics, more than three million Zimbabweans live outside the country and contribute 
about 10 percent to GDP through remittances.

The housing project also dovetails with the country’s economic blue print, Zim Asset which points out housing as one of the key issues the country intends to address. Housing development is a key result area of Zim Asset, envisaging the construction of 125 000 housing units with an annual target of 25 000. sunday news

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