Garikayi houses remain without water

garikaiMUTARE Most houses constructed under the governments controversial Operation Garikai/Hlalani Khuhle reconstruction programme remain without water and electricity supplies or sewerage disposal systems. A top housing official said the unity government does not have money to install water and power supplies in the houses built by President Robert Mugabes previous governmen

Funding is a major hindrance in the ministrys endeavour to provide services and social amenities, said Ministry of National Housing permanent secretary David Munyoro, during a tour of housing projects in Mutare city last week. Munyoro said that the government was looking to surrender the management of over 4 000 core houses nationwide that were built under the Operation Garikai/Hlalani Khuhle reconstruction programme to local authorities.

The local authorities must curve a rapport with private property developers in order for them to be assisted in the provision of services such as sewer and water reticulation and opening of roads among others, said Munyoro. Mugabes government in 2005 sanctioned the demolition of thousands of backyard shacks and houses in urban areas, leaving close to 700 000 people without shelter, in an exercise the administration said was necessary to keep Zimbabwes towns and cities clean and to smash crime it claimed flourished in the informal settlements near or in urban areas.

But the clean-up campaign drew protests from the international community, while a top United Nations sent to Zimbabwe to investigate the home demolition exercise said it violated human rights and international law. Mugabe and his government, stung by international criticism over the home demolition exercise, in August 2005 announced plans to build thousands of houses for the clean-up victims. But the ambitious home building programme stalled because the government ran out of funds to complete the project. Beneficiaries were in most cases asked to occupy incomplete houses or were asked to finish building the houses on their own.

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