Bulawayo--The government will obviously not be able to beat the 31 August deadline set for the construction of 1003 houses at Cowdray Park in Bulawayo for the families displaced under its widely condemned "Operation Murambatsvina", The Standard has established.
A tour to the construction site at Cowdray Park last week showed that only 31 houses were near completion, while more than 900 pegged stands remained untouched.
Complicating the situation, the contractors on site said completion of houses before 31 August was impossible because of a serious shortage of artisans, shortage of bricks, diesel and other essential inputs.
Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Nicholas Goche, Bulawayo Metropolitan Governor Cain Mathema, Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture permanent secretary Dr Stephen Mahere, national chairman of Reconstruction of Houses and Army Chief of Staff, Major General Nicholas Dube, toured the site.
Bulawayo Metropolitan Provincial Reconstruction Committee chairman, Lieutenant Colonel Brave Matavire, said the completion of houses would be delayed because of shortages of personnel, fuel and construction materials.
"Actually, I am here to whip up these contractors so that they quickly finish off the construction work before 31 August. However, there are problems of brick shortage, artisans, building materials as well as the shortage of diesel required during the construction work," said Matavire.