Multiple shortcomings which include budgetary release challenges, replication of duties, human resource challenges were envisaged as major impediment for the Ministry of National Housing’s ambition to avail affordable and conducive housing for all Zimbabweans at a ministerial hearing to Parliament today.
The Ministry attributed it’s challenges on the human resource deficit it was experiencing owing to the loss of skilled personnel and staff shortage they were experiencing.
“Our great challenge is efficiency owing to the losses we are experiencing due to the staff exodus as well as the shortage of staff at most of our offices. We have requested treasury of the need for a 790 member staff compliment but to date only 221 have been approved, this shortage heavily affects our potential to fully function.” Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Housing Development and Social Amenities Eng, Joy Makumbe said.
The Ministry also leveled the budgetary allocation as weighing heavy on the Ministry’s capacity to deliver as Treasury could not meet their request and delayed in the distribution of allocations.
“Late release by treasury is a major challenge as we have projects in Senga, Binga, and Marondera that are ongoing but we can not meet our supplier demands owing to the delays in allocations against the inflationary environment. On the other hand we only received 20% of our budget submission of ZWL$ZWL million from the ZWL2.8 billion we had envisaged.” Permanent Secretary Makumbe also said.
The replication of duties the Ministry had experienced owing to it’s split from the Ministry of local government was questioned by the portfolio committee on national housing despite the Ministry arguing strategies and success in meeting their obligations.
“ Yes we have to agree that there might be some challenges especially interms of land allocation as the Ministry of Public Works and Local Government can be assumed to be in ownership of land that we might require to build house’s and fullfil our mandate. However, we have consulted with the Ministry of Land, Rural District Council’s and can safely say we are establishing our own land bank with success, with the remaining challenge being finance.” The Permanent Secretary also said.
The Ministry was urged to shift from it’s contracting and tendering approach and adopt internal employment opportunities for it’s projects that potentially availed housing project establishment platforms.
“You should not contract, contract, and contract but rather employ people who will build. How many builders do you have, how many engineer’s do you have. If you employ and move from the procurement process you are bound to realise more progress, we are tired of continually being argued as doing nothing by the people and the country being argued corrupt when as MP’s we desire to see development for our people. Buhera South Legislator, Joseph Chinotimba said.
The Ministry took time to explore the rural livelihoods project it has engaged in as part of it’s efforts to improve the living conditions for the rural population through five rural home designs it had engaged in and would soon been offering for consideration.