BY BLESSED MHLANGA
NEWLY-APPOINTED minister of the new Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities, Daniel Garwe, said his ministry will push to fulfil the interests and manifestos set by Zanu PF ahead of the 2018 general elections.
Speaking soon after his swearing in at State House along with Information Communications and Technologies minister Janfen Muswere, Garwe said he was ready for his new role.
“We are here to further the interests of our party Zanu PF, if Zanu PF says we are going to build houses, we are here to therefore take it up to build those houses for the people of Zimbabwe,” Garwe said.
Ahead of the polls, Zanu PF promised to build five million houses by 2023, to date no significant milestones has been made.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa in a Cabinet reshuffle whittled the powers of Local Government and Public Works minister July Moyo, who was in charge of housing, to bring in Garwe.
He also trimmed Perrance Shiri’s Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlements ministry to expand Mangaliso Ndlovu’s Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry.
The new minister said while the construction industry was dormant owing to a declining economy, he was up for the challenge.
“The construction industry right now is dormant because of the economic hardships that the country is going through,” Garwe said.
“We all know that it is a service industry, people would want money to buy food to get in the stomach first before they think of building houses. The industry is waiting for me now, it is a collective responsibility, it is not the minister’s job alone, stakeholders must be involved. It’s a key result area for government, it is a key result area for me, it is a key result area for my party Zanu PF.”
He added: “Local Government is no longer constructing houses; that responsibility has been taken to National Housing. However, this is my first day; I have to sit down with my colleagues, and see how best we can work in harmony. It is about inter-connectedness of responsibilities.”
Muswere, who is the former ICT deputy, said his immediate task would be to strike a balance between affordability of data and sustainability of service providers.
“The basis of the entire mobile network operators and the fixed network operators is to ensure that their businesses are viable but also to ensure that we protect the consumers of Zimbabwe,” he said.
Muswere said he would ensure an acceleration of connectivity and prioritise access to modern technologies.
“Generally, what we are expecting is an acceleration of a knowledge-based society, through ubiquitous connectivity,” Muswere said.
“If you are looking at the pre-budget seminar, we are covering mainly the infrastructure sectors, which is in line with the Transitional Stabilisation Programme … we are going to be more about results.”