Harare to demolish “ugly” buildings

Zimbabwe

Leroy Dzenga

City of Harare says ageing buildings are hampering investment prospects as investors are favouring aesthetically pleasing cities over Zimbabwe’s capital.

During his State of The City Address, Harare Mayor Herbert Gomba said he has instructed his town clerk to institute a full scale building inspection drive and dilapidated buildings could face the bulldozer.

“In line with our urban renewal agenda, we are serving an average of 50 abatement orders per month and positive results have begun to show since property owners are responding by renovating and painting their properties,” Gomba said.

Gomba warned against non-compliance and pointed out that owners risk having their buildings condemned in accordance with the city occupancy regulations.

“A number of buildings are already under repair. We expect all property owners in Harare to do the same and this will uplift the face of the city and modernize it, as per our vision 2025. This programme will also be reflected in our 2020 financial plans,” Gomba said.

Most buildings in Harare were built before the country’s independence in 1980 and due to expansion of economic activities in post independent Zimbabwe some buildings have been repurposed to serve as offices.

This has resulted in overcrowding of buildings, especially in the downtown area of Harare’s Central Business District, a situation which has worsened the state of some of the buildings.