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Sadc summit injects impetus into development of Harare’s new CBD

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HARARE – The government has initiated compensation for over 300 farmers whose land was repossessed for the development of the new capital city in Mt Hampden.

Priority is given to those whose properties are located where infrastructure for the upcoming 44th SADC Summit is being developed.

A total of 301 farmers from Mashonaland West and Mashonaland Central provinces are being compensated for 47 farms, covering more than 15,500 hectares. Withdrawal letters have been issued to all farmers, and evaluations of property improvements have been completed.

The Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion has started compensating some farmers, particularly those whose land will be used for constructing 18 villas to house VVIP delegates attending the regional summit.

Public consultations for naming the new city are underway, seeking input from various stakeholders. Approved by Cabinet in December 2018, the concept for the new city centres around the recently opened Parliament building as its nucleus.

Chief Director of Spatial Planning and Development in the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works, Mr. Shingirayi Mushamba, stated that the SADC (Southern African Development Community) Summit has accelerated the new city’s construction.

“Through the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries, and Rural Development, the previous farm owners were properly and legally served with notices of withdrawal of their offer letters and requests to vacate the land for urban development,” Mushamba said. “The improvements made by the farmers were valued, and the valuations were submitted to Treasury for compensation. Some farmers have already received compensation, and others will be compensated in due course.”

Priority for compensation was given to farmers whose land was urgently required for ongoing developments in the new city. The government is undertaking comprehensive infrastructure development in the new city and surrounding areas in preparation for the summit, including upgrades to the Parliament building, improved access roads, a dedicated power line, enhanced ICT connectivity, construction of villas for delegates, water augmentation projects, and landscaping initiatives.

“For the summit to be successfully hosted, the government has embarked on a transformative infrastructure development programme in Harare and the new city in Mt Hampden,” Mushamba added. “Improvements are being made around the Parliament building to accommodate the increased demand for parking during the summit. Access routes, including Mazowe Road and Old Mazowe Road, have been upgraded.”

A dedicated power line is being constructed by the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company, and the Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies is ensuring 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G connectivity infrastructure.

State-of-the-art villas are being developed to accommodate high-profile delegates, and boreholes have been drilled to supply potable water, with storage tanks erected to ensure adequate supplies.

“There are also landscaping programmes to enhance the beauty and aesthetics of the surroundings,” Mushamba continued. “The infrastructure improvements form the backbone for the new city’s development, aligning with President Mnangagwa’s vision of a new city.”

The master plan outlines the city’s development in four phases over 10 years. The first phase involves creating traction and development infrastructure, followed by baseline infrastructure development through Treasury funding, public-private partnerships (PPPs), loans, and bonds. The next phase will focus on commercial, residential, and industrial areas through PPPs, foreign direct investment (FDI), and other financing instruments. The final phase will continue developing these areas from year 10 onwards through private equity, PPPs, FDI, and syndicated loans.

Source: Sunday Mail