THE Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC)-led Harare City Council says plans to rehabilitate the dilapidated Mbare hostels are being frustrated by Zanu PF politicians.
“There is a political element in trying to sort out the mess in the Mbare hostels because you are just running to a big hole in politics. There are very powerful political blocks, vigorous and can block you physically from doing anything. We can remodel Mbare, renew it and create an urban renewal programme that will allow people to live in dignity. We have got the ideas,” mayor Jacob Mafume told NewsDay Weekender.
In 2019, President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced plans for the rehabilitation of the flats, but the exercise was abandoned along the way.
In 2011, a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded project to rehabilitate the Matapi Flats in Mbare failed to take off after the Zanu PF-linked Chipangano terror group blocked the programme.
Mafume said the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) was also not playing ball by not investing in community housing projects such as the Mbare flats.
“NSSA has betrayed us. NSSA has been funded by Harare and Bulawayo taxpayers, but they have not come back to invest in community housing, invest in the workers that fund them,” he said.
But NSSA deputy spokesperson Tendai Mutseyekwa denied the allegations saying the pension fund invests when there “are excess funds for the long-term sustainability of the fund”.
“It is important to note that NSSA only invests excess funds and we do not always have these at our disposal,” Mutseyekwa said.
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“The investments are across various sectors, including listed and private equities, as well as investment into sectors that have a huge socio-economic impact such as agriculture, renewable energy, infrastructure and housing development.”