THE Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) yesterday handed over 20 houses to some of its members in Bulawayo’s Cowdray Park suburb as part of an initiative that has seen more than 350 houses being built under the force’s housing benefit fund in the city.
The ZDF Benefit Fund was started in 1988 to provide the armed forces with decent housing in line with a United Nations-driven mandate for provision of accommodation to all citizens.
The ZDF is carrying out the project countrywide through acquiring land from local authorities and building houses using monthly membership contributions.
Yesterday, the ZDF Benefit Fund Director, Colonel Blessing Maraire, handed over 20 houses to beneficiaries drawn from the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) and the Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) in Cowdray Park suburb.
In total, 356 members have so far benefitted in Bulawayo.
Speaking during the handover ceremony, Colonel Maraire said the housing project is one of the ZDF initiatives meant to improve livelihoods of its members by providing decent accommodation.
“Today we are gathered here in Bulawayo Metropolitan Province, Cowdray Park to witness yet another great occasion in which 20 housing units are being handed over to beneficiaries,” he said.
“The other 336 were officially handed over to beneficiaries by the Defence Minister making it a total of 356 housing units built by the fund in this city to date. The Zimbabwe Defence Forces Benefit Fund still has a task to build more houses in this metropolitan provincial city.”
Colonel Maraire said the construction of the houses is meant to spur development by improving social and economic conditions.
He urged beneficiaries not to dispose their houses saying they must keep them for the benefit of their families.
“To those who have benefited today take note that these houses are for your families. Do not dispose of the houses as a way of raising quick money. Remember that the few dollars so raised may be blown in a matter of minutes while a house in your possession is an asset for life. I urge you to develop them fully to the specification that you want and in conformity with the Bulawayo City Council by-laws,” Colonel Maraire said.
“You are urged to pay your monthly rates to the council to enhance provision of all basic services and amenities by the council.”
Two weeks ago, 20 houses were handed over to ZDF members in Binga where 40 houses are still under construction.