47 FARMS FOR NEW MT HAMPDEN CITY newsdzeZimbabweNewsdzeZimbabwe

47 FARMS FOR NEW MT HAMPDEN CITY newsdzeZimbabweNewsdzeZimbabwe

Forty-seven farms in Mashonaland Western and Mashonaland Central provinces have been earmarked for the development of the new capital at Mount Hampden, where work has begun on basic infrastructure, which includes roads, water, electricity and communications.

Most of the infrastructure is expected to be completed by August, when Zimbabwe hosts the 44th Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit in the new Parliament House, the nucleus around which the new city will be built.

Roads such as the Bindura-Harare Expressway and Nyamakunde Road (formerly Lomagundi Road), which connect the current capital and Mashonaland Central Province to Parliament House, are being rehabilitated.

Development of a multi-million-dollar apartment complex to accommodate some of the delegates to the SADC summit is scheduled to begin soon near the imposing building.

Senior Director (Spatial Planning and Development) at the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works, Mr Shinjirai Mushamba, told the Sunday Mail that a technical committee had been formed to oversee the clearing of the farms ahead of the works.

He added that about 47 farms have been identified to build the new city.

“The Ministries of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development; Local Government and Public Works; as well as Housing and Social Facilities will work closely with affected families, and a multi-stakeholder consultative meeting is scheduled to be held soon.

“The development of the new city has begun in earnest as evidenced by the linking of the new Parliament House through the widening of roads into the city and the construction of roads such as the Bindura-Harare Expressway.”

He said that the government is working around the clock to ensure that roads are completed in time for the summit.

Water, electricity and telecommunications supplies are being established.

Mr Mushamba added that the government has drawn up a list of priority infrastructure projects scheduled to be developed around the new city under the first phase of the project.

“We are also working on providing accommodation that will be used by some of the delegates at the SADC Summit. The accommodation will obviously form part of the new city.

He said some of the facilities in Harare that will be used during the annual indaba are set to undergo extensive renovation.

Overall, the projects are in line with the government’s vision to transform the country into a middle-income economy by 2030.

“The President has detailed all the infrastructure that will be built within the new city and this will be announced in due course,” Mr Mushamba said.

“Modes of financing and construction companies are still being identified. The government has also made plans to empower 300 farmers who will be affected by the construction of the new city.

The concept for the new city was approved by the Cabinet in December 2018, with the opening of the new Parliament building last year helping to stimulate development.

An inter-ministerial committee comprising the ministries of land, agriculture, fisheries, water and rural development; Local government and public works; National housing and social facilities have since been established to facilitate the relocation of about 300 families to make way for the project.

The multi-billion dollar city, which is expected to ease congestion in Harare, will span 15,500 hectares and accommodate more than 1.5 million residents when completed, according to the city’s master plan approved by Cabinet.

Three local authorities – the Harare Municipality and the Mazowe and Zvimba Rural District Councils – will administer the city, which is set to be named after one of the country’s cultural and heritage endowments.

It is expected that the city will be developed in four distinct phases spanning a period of 10 years.

The first phase, which will last for two years, includes establishing traction and development infrastructure.

It is expected to be funded through the Treasury and “donations from the private sector and other partners,” according to the blueprint.

The second phase will include developing basic infrastructure through financing from the treasury, public-private partnerships, loans and issuance of bonds, debentures or promissory notes.

The next phase, spanning from the fifth to tenth years, will see the development of commercial, residential and industrial areas through public-private partnerships, foreign direct investment, syndicated loans, development financing, and export credit financing, among other tools.

The final phase involves the continued development of commercial, residential and industrial areas from year 10 onwards through private equity, public-private partnerships, foreign direct investment and syndicated loans.

As a sign of investor acceptance, Dubai-based billionaire Shaji Al-Mulk, founder and chairman of Malak International Group, has begun construction of a US$500 million electronic city in Mount Hampden.

Urban planning expert and lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe in the Department of Architecture and Real Estate, Dr. Nyasha Mutsindikwa, said: “The SADC summit scheduled for August represents a great opportunity to showcase the country to potential investors from the region.

“Potential investment areas include the new city, where investors can finance housing construction and road infrastructure.” Sunday mail

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