parirenyatwa new flat block.pngThe Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities says it has failed to meet set targets in the construction of  flats and servicing of stands throughout the country as the Ministry of Finance has not disbursed funds allocated in the 2011 budget in full.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti has once again come under fire for allocating substantial amounts of money on paper in national budgets but failing to disburse the funds to relevant ministries.

The Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities, which was allocated US$25 million in the 2011 National Budget for housing programmes, only got US$15 million, resulting in its failure to meet the set target of constructing 15 blocks of flats in Harare’s Willowvale area.

The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr David Munyoro noted with concern the ever increasing national housing backlog which he said can only be reduced if government seriously funds housing programmes.

“We have a national housing backlog of over a million according to the estimates and as government, we were hoping to construct many blocks of flats as part of the mass housing programmes, but the challenge is that we only got US$15 million from treasury which has affected planning,” said Mr Munyoro.

Government only managed to complete the construction of five blocks of flats in the capital at a cost of US$3 million as part of efforts to alleviate an acute housing shortage.

The project is part of 11 programmes being carried out under the US$25 million National Housing Development Loan Facility but only US$15 million was disbursed whilst the remainder is still to be made available.

Economic sanctions that Western countries imposed on the country have compounded the acute housing shortage as the government and local authorities could not implement capital projects over the last decade.

Observers note that Finance Minister, Mr Tendai B Biti has failed to craft realistic budgets, a situation that has affected service delivery in all sectors.