Shurugwi district has made a commitment to play its part in reducing the housing backlog by providing more land to residents and assist in the realisation of the government’s vision of providing housing for all.

There were tears of joy as house owners were presented with keys to their new homes, kissing goodbye to being tenants.

Speaking to the ZBC News on an occasion to mark the handover of two houses under the Magakooshola Park housing scheme in Shurugwi, the town’s District Administrator, Mr Langton Mupeta said they have a role to play in the country’s development trajectory through the provision of land for housing purposes.

“What we want to encourage is development of Shurugwi. People have a tendency of leaving their countries but we are saying there is no need to look outside Zimbabwe and we can only achieve this through the provision of land for our people to deal with the housing backlog,” said Mupeta.

Some of the beneficiaries of the housing scheme could not hide their joy as they relived their past lives as tenants, which they said was quite difficult.

River Valley Properties CEO, Dr Smelly Dube decried the building materials’ pricing regime which is mostly pegged in the US dollars and called for government intervention, saying this is weighing down on their plans to provide affordable accommodation, particularly to the country’s civil servants.

“What we are saying as the private sector is that we have a role to play to ensure that our people get affordable accommodation. The government should come up with a scheme similar to that for farming inputs where we can get building material in local currencies which is being earned by most of our people so that no one is left out in this scheme,” she said.

The two houses are part of the 20 houses that were handed over to beneficiaries early this year under the Magakooshola Housing Project after River Valley Properties partnered with a local bank with more projects said to be in the pipeline.