Human Settlement Policy validated, Government to consider best practices

Aug 21, 2019

Harare – The Government of Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Local Government Public Works and National Housing convened a stakeholder validation workshop on the Zimbabwe National Human Settlement Policy which attracted 170 participants from key stakeholders. The workshop which took place in Harare on 15 August 2019 focused on improving the draft policy in line with international and regional best practices.

The workshop presented a strategic engagement opportunity for key stakeholders to interact with the Ministry and input to the draft policy. “The purpose of this workshp is to unpack the draft and ascertain whether the policy recommendations that were made at the consultation stage were indeed captured in the document.” Said Mr. July Moyo, Minister for Local Government Public Works and National Housing.

The Minister highlighted that the Policy should be in line with the Zimbabwe Constitution, promoting a society which the people of Zimbabwe enjoy prosperous, happy and fulfilling lives: “Zimbabwe’s settlements are expected to be hubs of innovation, commerce, equitable socio – economic development and expressions of the diverse cultural heritage at local as well as national level,” he said.

IOM Zimbabwe Chief of Mission Mr. Mario Lito Malanca concurred with the Minister adding that the Policy is a positive step towards ensuring the fulfilment of Section 28 of the Zimbabwe Constitution which points to the need for the State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level to take reasonable legislative and other measures, within the limits of the resources available to them, to enable every person to have adequate shelter.

Mr. Malanca encouraged the Government of Zimbabwe to pursue lasting solutions to the problem of displacement in Zimbabwe and promote satisfactory conditions for the safety and dignity of all Zimbabweans in line with the African Union Convention on Internally displaced persons (Kampala Convention).

Stakeholders noted that while significant work has already been done on the draft Policy through the national consultative process held in the 10 provinces, there is still room for improvement in terms of its structure and content.  Emphasis was made on the need by the Government to draw lessons from countries such as Rwanda, Ghana, Zambia, Australia and South Korea among others who have put in place National Human Settlement Policies.

UN Habitat Representative Dr. Nelson Marongwe stated the need for the Policy to be shaped by relevant global frameworks that guide planning and development of settlements, “key global frameworks such as the New Urban Agenda and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction which promote local development with in settlements as well as mainstreaming of disaster risk assessments should be considered.”

The Government acknowledged support of stakeholders and indicated that inputs made during the workshop will be incorporated before presenting the draft policy to the cabinet for consideration.

IOM Zimbabwe through its Implementing Partner Civic Forum on Human Development supports the Government of Zimbabwe to develop the Human Settlement Policy with funding support from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).

For more information please contact Varaidzo Mudombi at IOM Zimbabwe telephone +263242704285 email: vmudombi@iom.int