Zimbabwe News

Harare seeks extension for city master plan submission

The Harare City Council has resolved to request that the Government extend the deadline for submitting its master plan by at least two months.

In November 2023, President Emmerson Mnangagwa directed all 92 of the country’s councils to develop master plans by June 30, 2024, to curb the growth of haphazard settlements.

On Monday, June 24, Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume convened an urgent special full council meeting to deliberate on this matter.

Mafume stated that while the local authority is capable of meeting the June 30 deadline, residents have requested the council to ask the government for a deadline extension of at least two months to allow for further consultations. Said Mafume (via NewsDay):

We are confident of meeting the deadline because we have the biggest planning department in the country. We have highly qualified personnel and we have done over five area plans in terms of the law.

I called the special full council meeting so that I brief the councillors on the meeting I held with residents who are saying on their behalf, that we should approach the ministry and ask for an extension of consultations by at least two months.

Mafume argued that Harare’s master plan was more expensive to produce compared to other municipalities, as it requires extensive data gathering due to the city’s large size and complexity.

According to NewsDay, Harare City Council officials allegedly began working on the master plan without first engaging a consultant, which contradicts the legal requirements.

Harare residents have pleaded with the Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Daniel Garwe, to reject the proposed master plan.

The Harare City Council has reportedly budgeted $3 million to develop the city’s new master plan.

While most local authorities across Zimbabwe engaged consultants as early as January 2023, Harare City only announced the award of a tender for the master plan on June 6, less than a month before the June 30 deadline.

A city master plan, also known as a comprehensive plan or general plan, is a long-term strategic document that outlines the vision, goals, and policies for the future development and growth of a city or municipality over a 10-20-year time horizon.

The main components of a city master plan typically include a land use plan, transportation plan, housing plan, economic development plan, environmental and sustainability plan, and community facilities and services plan, among others.

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