Zimbabwe: Chinese company to develop satellite towns after prison complex deal

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China Sonangol, a Chinese company, has been handed land in excess of 1 000 hectares in Zimbabwe to develop satellite towns around Harare at a cost worth over US$8billion.

Zimbabwe authorities say this development would help “ease housing problems in the capital”.

The move follows the singing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Zimbabwe and China Sonangol that will see the latter funding the development of satellite towns.

The Chinese joint venture company has already unveiled an eight-billion-U.S. dollar package to fund various developmental programmes in Zimbabwe.

Local Government, Urban and Rural Development Minister Ignatius Chombo says the government was now waiting for the Chinese company to come on board.

“As government, we have made significant land available for the development of satellite towns in Harare which is in excess of 1,000
hectares,” he said.

“The land covers areas in Mount Hampden and some parts of Mazowe. We are now ready as government and we are now only waiting for our Chinese counterparts to come on board.”

In November Afrik-news.com reported that another Chinese firm bought Harare Central prison complex which houses more than 2000 families and over 4 000 inmates with plans to convert the jail into a manufacturing plant.

The prison complex is made up of Harare Remand and Central prisons, a workshop, the commissioner’s mess and officers’ accommodation. Prison sources say a meeting was held last week in Harare to conclude the deal.

The cash strapped the Zimbabwean government is failing to provide decent accommodation to urban residents whose population is growing tremendously as rural-to-urban migration soar in recent years.

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