The Sunday News
Debra Matabvu, Harare Bureau
The days when people would lose their hard-earned savings to unscrupulous merchants and land barons who sell land without any documentation are now behind us, as Government has demonstrated that it has the political will, technical skills and resources needed to regularise informal settlements and issue title deeds, President Mnangagwa has said.
Yesterday, more than 265 title deeds, of the 11 200 that have already been processed, were handed over to property owners in Epworth in Harare. The exercise is set to be rolled out in all the country’s 10 provinces.
Speaking at the launch of the Presidential Title Deeds and Settlement Regularisation Programme in Epworth yesterday, President Mnangagwa, who handed over the documents, said they were an empowerment tool that will provide security tenure for beneficiaries and protect them from land barons.
“The programme is one of the many responsive interventions by the Second Republic to improve the quality of life and livelihoods of our citizens.
“The title deeds being issued today are an important empowerment tool and a legal document that gives beneficiaries several rights, which include ownership and security of tenure, and disposal and transfer of ownership from one person to another. The title deeds also outline land boundaries of the property and other related conditions. I, therefore, call upon all the families being issued with title deeds to keep the documents in a safe and secure place.
“The process of producing title deeds is very thorough and involves various ministries, agencies and departments working together under the Whole-of-Government approach.
“This guarantees the security of the final title deeds and protects against counterfeit or fake documents. The days when people would lose their hard-earned savings to unscrupulous merchants and land barons who sell land without any documentation are now behind us,” he said.
The programme, he said, was going to be rolled out in all the country’s 10 provinces.
“Following today’s historic milestone, the Presidential Title Deeds and Settlement Regularisation Programme is set to be rolled out to other provinces. This event demonstrates that we have the political will and technical skills to deliver while sufficient resources are and available to support this exercise. No one and no place or suburb or township will be left behind. Together, let us continue to build smart, sustainable and orderly human settlements.”
President Mnangagwa also said his administration, which always walks the talk, will continue implementing development policies that contribute towards Vision 2030.
“This is in keeping with the true meaning of our hard-won Independence and quest to realise the dignity of our people. It is more important that we are launching this Presidential Title Deeds and Settlement Regularisation Programme a few days after our nation celebrated 43 years of Independence and freedom. The Second Republic under the ZANU PF leadership walks the talk. We are a Government that delivers. Brick by brick, stone upon stone, we are realising the development aspirations set out in the National Development Strategy towards Vision 2030.”
The Epworth community, the President said, will be remembered in the country’s history of urban development and planning as pioneers in the transformation and modernisation of formerly settlements that had earned the infamous marginalised urban title of illegal settlements.
Already a master plan which outlines location of schools, clinics, hospitals, commercial and industrial sites has been developed for regularisation of suburb. The second phase, President Mnangagwa said, will involve servicing of land, construction of roads, improvement of electricity and bulk water supply infrastructure, as well as modern sewer and waste management facilities. “The regularisation of this settlement is a mammoth development project which must be collective in nature. Every individual and household effort, skills and contribution counts. Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo/Ilizwe lakhiwa ngabanikazi balo’. Let us remain focused, united and determined to see the success of this project. We must transform Epworth and other human settlements while ensuring that benefiting households enjoy the real value of their properties and environments.”
Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga, several Cabinet Ministers and senior Government officials attended the event, which attracted multitudes. The 11 200 title deeds that are ready for Epworth residents are part of the targeted 38 000 for the sprawling suburb.–@dmmatabvu