In a recent statement, the mayor of Harare, Jacob Mafume, admitted that the city council had made a mistake in its housing allocation efforts.
Despite targeting the allocation of 5,000 housing stands to home seekers in 2022, the council was only able to provide 163 stands. This is a significant issue, as the council has a housing backlog of over half a million people on its waiting list.
The council suspended land allocations in 2021 after several top housing officials, including a housing director and two acting directors, were arrested on corruption charges.
In his statement, Mafume acknowledged that the council’s poor distribution of housing stands had resulted in home seekers being short-changed. He pledged to work with reputable institutions and developers to provide stands with on-site and bulk off-site infrastructure, in an effort to improve the council’s housing delivery strategy.
Mafume also promised to speed up the issuance of title deeds to some homeowners in 2023, and to sell houses to sitting tenants who have occupied the properties for an agreed period.
In addition to its housing allocation struggles, the council is also facing a debt of $82.7 billion in unpaid rates from domestic and commercial entities.
Mafume reminded debtors that there is a cost attached to doing business in an urban setting and urged them to honor their obligations in order to allow the council to provide basic services.