Government through the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment has launched an ambitious programme that will see youths benefiting from the more than 15 000 houses units to be constructed in Harare.
Addressing Journalists in Harare on Tuesday, Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment, Patrick Zhuwawo revealed that government through the Zimbabwe Youth Council (ZYC) had been allocated land in Harare for the construction of over 15 000 houses that will be distributed to youths.
“The Ministry, together with ZYC, has requested from the Ministry of Local Government, the allocation of housing stands which will see thousands of youths benefitting from this scheme. As a result, we were allocated the space at Dunottar farm, in Chitungwiza and we are expecting the stands to be serviced before March.
“We have noted with concern how, many youths suffer as a result of lack of accommodation and they spend a lot of dollars in acquiring accommodation which has become much expensive and many of them cannot afford to pay for such services,” he said.
Minister Zhuwawo said since most young people cannot afford to service the stands and start construction, all will be done on their behalf and they would only get them on completion adding that government is committed to the empowerment of youths regardless of their political affiliation.
“In line with our ZIMASSET program, it is imperative the make houses available to youths because too often they are side-lined from national projects. It should be noted that this program is non-partisan as we aim to make houses available to all youths,” said Zhuwawo.
He however bemoaned lack of funding for the servicing of the farms; a move which he said could delay progress on the construction of the houses.
ZYC Director, Livingstone Dzikira who also attended the Press briefing said they started with Harare as it has the highest number of youths in need of accommodation but plans were underway to roll out the program at a national level.
“We have started this program in Harare because that is where we have the highest number of home seekers. However, we will roll out the same by requesting more stands from the responsible ministry as each provincial capital must benefit from this,” said Dzikira adding that the same program will be unveiled in Bulawayo in the coming weeks.
While this may be a noble initiative, it remains to be seen if it will not turn out to be another ploy to mobilize votes for Zanu PF ahead of the 2018 harmonized elections. Zanu PF has been on an offensive dishing out housing stands to youths across the country in what opposition political parties say is a political gimmick to hoodwink the restless youths into joining the party.