Home Politics Zanu PF dangles title deeds to lure the urban vote

Zanu PF dangles title deeds to lure the urban vote

Mutsvangwa Said

THE Zanu PF Politburo has endorsed the issuing of title deeds to urban dwellers who have been facing challenges in securing the deeds, a move meant to entice the urban vote ahead of forthcoming by-elections and the 2023 general elections.

By-elections are due on 26 March in 133 local ward and Parliamentary constituencies across the country. Most of the vacancies are in urbab areas where the MDC Alliance elected officials were recalled by a rival MDC-T camp.

Speaking at a same media briefing after yesterday’s Zanu PF Politburo meeting, the ruling party’s spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa said the Politburo had endorsed the issuing of title deeds to homeowners that had struggled to get documents for a long time in urban areas.

This mainly applies to new homes which have been built on State land since 2005, a development that saw dozens of new suburbs sprouting in most urban areas, particularly in Harare.

“We also discussed issuing title deeds for the existing stock of houses in the urban areas. We will make sure that those without the title deeds will somehow get the title deeds,” Mutsvangwa said.

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“We have engaged the space agency under the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology and already two suburbs have been completed.”

Ahead of Christmas, President Mnangagwa gifted title deeds to urban dwellers who built houses on undesignated land.

Mutsvangwa said all the illegal settlements occurred “under the watch of the incompetent and corruption-riddled MDC municipalities around the country”.

Mutsvangwa said the move to grant the title deeds is a game-changer that will improve the lives of urbanites.

“The President announced a big bang financial system, issuing title deeds to urban dwellers to the existing crop of urban houses. We have many houses that were built and many have no title.

“These houses are going to get title deeds, this is the creation of a new financial bank, people are going to securitise existing houses. This is a big bang gift to urban dwellers by the President for their existing houses,” Mutsvangwa said.

Economist Eddie Cross also said the granting of title deeds will unlock a huge capital base for the economy. Cross compared this latest move to what former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher did for the Britons in the early 1980s.

“I got a couple of graduate students to sit down with Google Earth and to try and count the number of homes built in this way in urban areas across the country. Our conclusion was that they could reach 1,5 million homes,” Cross said.

“By extending freehold title to these households in Zimbabwe, we will be creating wealth on a massive scale and all that new wealth will be controlled by the families who own the properties involved.

“The majority have been funded by the diaspora, but it is their local families who will benefit from the actions being taken by government.

“For me, this decision stands alongside the decision taken by Margaret Thatcher when she was Prime Minister of Britain, to sell State-owned houses to the people who had rented them for nearly all their lives.

“This decision changed the lives of millions of people, and I would expect no less in Zimbabwe.”

Meanwhile, in yet another move seen to lure the Mbare seat which the ruling party held in 2009 to 2013, Mutsvangwa said public infrastructure such as toilets must not be personalized.

He said this in the wake of reports that some council officials were collecting access fees to toilets using a parallel payment system that was illegal, as the toilets must be accessed for free in the first place.

“We also discussed the issue of Mbare. We received a report from Harare province. We will not tolerate the abuse of public infrastructure that is being personalised by a few individuals,” he added.

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