Harare Bureau
A housing finance mechanism that includes those self-employed in small businesses and the informal section but with capacity to repay their loans, is being considered as part of a deliberate policy to ensure every Zimbabwean owns a house, legislators heard yesterday.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa said traditional mortgage financing was inadequate considering that it was tailor-made for those in formal employment who get payslips every month and have guarantors.

With much economic activity now in the informal sector, it was prudent to include those in small to medium enterprises in mortgage schemes so that they could also own houses.

Minister Mutsvangwa was responding to questions raised in the National Assembly yesterday.

Mutasa South MP Regai Tsunga had asked if Government was considering provision of mortgage financing in its quest to build more houses.

“Government is working with many institutions to come up with a housing programme to cover even those who are self-employed but are able to repay,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

She said the decision to have a stand-alone National Housing and Social Amenities ministry had demonstrated that the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa desires to ensure housing for all in tandem consistent with Vision 2030 of an upper middle income society.

On Tuesday, Cabinet resolved to halt the sale of Government houses and flats to sitting tenants with immediate effect as part of measures to address shortages of accommodation for civil servants.

More houses will be built through a revival of the National Housing Fund and private sector initiatives.

Responding to another question, legislators heard that Government was working tirelessly to assist girls, especially those who fell pregnant during the national lockdown.

Schools closed early as a measure to contain the spread of Covid-19, resulting in many people being idle at home for longer periods.

Women’s Affairs, Community, Small to Medium Enterprises Development Minister Dr Sithembiso Nyoni said her ministry was working with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to allow some of the girls to be readmitted to school so that they could write their examinations.

Some girls had done better than boys in the June examinations.

“With this lockdown, a lot of girls got pregnant. We have encouraged them to go back to schools. Uniforms for some of them are no longer fitting well and we have asked teachers to allow them not to put on uniforms. Teachers need to know that these girl children need support as some of them would have been cornered,” said Dr Nyoni.

On another issue, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Cain Mathema is expected to issue a ministerial statement in the National Assembly today regarding the extent to which teachers had taken heed to resumption of lessons.

This came amid reports that some teachers were not reporting for work, seeking to have their conditions of service addressed.