Give credit where it’s due


THE transformation and modernisation of settlements in Epworth through the Presidential Title Deeds and Settlement Regularisation Programme demonstrates further the Government’s determination to uplift people’s lives.

Indeed, a decent and secure accommodation is a pre-requisite to a decent lifestyle. The issuance of Tittle Deeds is in line with the National Development Strategy 1 aimed at seeing the country attain an upper-middle income economy by 2030.

This is why there was unprecedented jubilation in Epworth on Saturday when the President handed over, personally, over 265 Title Deeds, of the 11 200 that have already been processed. The target for Epworth is 38 000. A lot more Title Deeds are expected countrywide — for this programme is not limited to Epworth. The President pledged that the initiative would cover all irregular settlements countrywide. In his own words, he said: “No-one and no place or suburb or township will be left behind.”

Handing of Title Deeds to the residents of Epworth, the President pointed out that the Deeds were an empowering tool and legal document that would bestow upon them dignity. For a start, no longer will their dwellings be referred to as ‘illegal settlements’. Key among benefits to be enjoyed by the beneficiaries is secured ownership and, with it, qualification to get loans from banks.

Banks feel safe granting secured loans for they can recover their cash in the event of defaulting, by attaching the property. So, careful planning is a must before venturing into applying for bank loans. However, the loan can be wisely used to develop your property or you can use it to start another empowering project.

Title Deeds empower the owners to sell their properties, transfer them or determine the ownership of the properties when people die. Armed with title deeds, there is no way anybody can successfully come and claim your property. The President told his Epworth audience that the regularising of informal settlements and the issuing of Title Deeds would sound a death knell for land barons. 

This was good news, for these predators had become a nuisance as they preyed on desperate land-seeking citizens. However, their days of selling stolen land without any documentation are over. A disturbing thing about these land barons was that these heartless thieves would sell land they had got for nothing without caring about the need for basic services like roads, water and sewer reticulation as well as infrastructure for electricity supply. 

It was heartening to hear the President announce that a master plan setting aside defined location for schools, clinics, hospitals as well as commercial sites was already in place. Under normal circumstances, services like roads, sewer and water reticulation as well as electricity supply is done before allocation of land. 

These regularised Epworth structures and any other will soon also have these basic services. Of course it would have been much cheaper if proper procedure had been followed. However, it is a pity that this improper practice flourished for some time in cities because it was being abetted by corrupt CCC Councillors running these urban centres. This is the same CCC which is seeking the people’s vote to perpetuate the urban rot.

There are some in the rudderless Western proxy party who are dismissing the granting of Title Deeds in Epworth as a vote-buying gimmick timed to coincide with the impending Harmonised National General Elections. And yet there are so many developmental projects and measures carried out by the ZANU PF Government during its present term in office.

Which of these achievements can be classified as election gimmicks? Is Vision 2030, which is even much further ahead, another election gimmick? We challenge the Western-sponsored CCC to come up with a list  of its own achievements in the garbage-infested urban centres — it has been running for some time. Was the promise by Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume, a CCC guru, that the Dynamos/CAPS United derby would be staged in Rufaro Stadium a lie or a gimmick?

The match is scheduled for this Sunday. Let’s give credit where it is due.                                                                               


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