President Emmerson Mnangagwa has raised concern over the Harare City Council’s failure to arrange for temporary shelter for residents of Matapi flats in Mbare to pave way for the ongoing refurbishment.

President Mnangagwa raised the concern after touring Matapi flats to assess progress of the renovation exercise this Monday.

When he visited the flats last year after block 4 was gutted by fire, Cde Mnangagwa was touched by the dilapidated state of the flats with sewer flowing in passages, leading him to promise renovations of more than the gutted flat.

And this Monday, the President was at Matapi flats, this time to assess progress on the refurbishment works, which he promised last year.

Council offices, a clinic and blocks 4 and 5 have so far been refurbished and President Mnangagwa’s desire is to have all flats renovated.

The President’s first port of call during the visit was at the city council offices, where he met one of the artists partaking in paintings on the flats.

The artist, who has done a number of President Mnangagwa’s portraits, had a rare opportunity of having one portrait signed by the President.

Cde Mnangagwa also toured Matapi clinic and blocks 4 and 5, which are undergoing renovations of the water and sewer systems as well as electricity installations and replacements.

The exterior walls and interior of the super structures are being painted giving the place a fresh outlook.

During the tour, President Mnangagwa was being apprised on the facelift progress by the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Cde July Moyo and one of the directors from FGC Zimbabwe, Mr Francis Mambo.

The company offered to partner the government and the Harare City Council on the renovations.

Later in an interview at State House in Harare, President Mnangagwa expressed concern over non-arrangement of temporary shelter for residents to pave way for renovations, but commended the work being done by FGC Zimbabwe.

“I am happy that the renovations are progressing well but my concern is on the Harare City Council not providing temporary shelter to the occupants of these flats. They were supposed to be accommodated elsewhere for about a week or two so that the flats are refurbished,” said Cde Mnangagwa.

Provision of descent housing is one of the priority projects under the government’s Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP), and the reception of Cde Mnangagwa in Mbare was testimony that people have embraced the government policy.