Kariba partners IDBZ to drive housing supply

HARARE - The KARIBA Municipality (MOK) has partnered with the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) to drive housing supply in the resort town.

According to a notice by the local authority’s town clerk Webster Tembo, the project will deliver housing stands  in the low density area of Kasese at $8 per square metre and help ease a major supply problem.

“The scheme is being serviced in partnership with IDBZ and beneficiaries shall pay the servicing cost directly to the bank upon completion of all services. Successful applicants shall be required to make a deposit of 25 percent and the balance over nine months,” Tembo said.

Tembo said the agreement between MOK and IDBZ started in 2004 and followed through with developments in Batonga Phase 3, Baobab Ridge Extension and Kasese residential areas.

He said layout plans for Kasese were approved in 2004 and 2014 for residential stands ranging in size between 150 and 1 000 square metres.

The town clerk said that pre-sales of the area were made to companies, civil servants, municipal employees and cooperatives.

“There was even an attempt to service the stands through a consortium but they failed. In 2008 we also engaged with Pinnacle Holdings but that also failed and resulted in the council taking back the stands in 2013,” he said.

Tembo said in 2016 the proposal to start the housing development was submitted and approved in March 2017 which was followed by a Memorandum of Understanding in May.

He said in July last year, MOK and IDBZ signed an agreement and formed a joint venture called Kariba Housing Development, where council owns 10 percent shares and the latter 90 percent.

“Terms of the agreement were that the bank would avail $14,8 million which would be distributed as follows Baobab 109 would get $4,9 million, Batonga 49 would get $843 501, Kasese phase 1118 would be availed $7 million and Kasese Extension 390 would get $1,9 million,” Tembo said.            

He said the National Building Society would bring in mortgages for the construction of superstructures in the areas.

A severe shortage of housing combined with surging demand in Zimbabwe’s stuttering economy has caused house prices to rise sharply, pushed residential rents in cities above their economy peak and led to a surge in homelessness.