By Byron Mutingwende
City of Harare is in the process of coming up with a Master Plan and is embracing the case study of Kigali in Rwanda that was part of secondary research done by junior officers who joined the municipality in 2018.
According to Mr Tinashe Bobo, the focus was on Kigali, which is faring well in terms of town planning and city development.
“There are best practices that we are learning from Kigali and other cities as we prepare our Master Plan. In my presentation, I touched on where Kigali was in 2013 in line with rapid urbanisation.
“Kigali had challenges such as unplanned developments, inadequate infrastructure and lack of affordable homes so a master plan was proposed to deal with the problems and define the developmental trajectory of Kigali for the next 20 years to 30 years,” Mr Bobo said.
Some of the lessons derived from the Kigali case study were on the importance of having a vision (for Kigali it was to become the centre of urban excellence in Africa), setting goals and having a clear roadmap to prepare and implement their master plan.
Mrs Diana Chimhanda said City of Harare was designing a comprehensive questionnaire to capture all relevant data for planning purposes. The questionnaire is going to be inclusive of all socio-economic groups so that no one group among orphans, physically challenged and others will be left out.
“Relevant stakeholders should be consulted. These include non-governmental organisations, community-based organisations and SMEs among others. The sample sizes should be representative of all groups while the surveys should be objective. The surveys should bring out the good and the bad without any sugar coating and cherry picking of respondents,” Mrs Chimhanda said.
She emphasised that the opinion of stakeholders should be respected. In that regard, data analysis should not take a defensive position but bring out the true picture of the existing situation.
As it stands, council promised to provide the necessary resources (financial, human and equipment) to avoid starts and stops. It was urged to make use of technology and applications to ensure reliability of date to be collected.
Mr Trymore Muderere, the Projects Manager of Development Studio Africa said GIS plays an integrative role by producing specific content from data collection, analysis, reporting and mapping to support City of Harare’s thematic groups.
“We introduced GIS to stakeholders as an organised collection of hardware, software and human skill designed to capture, store, update, manipulate, retrieve and visualisation analysis for various applications and phenomena. We noted that the GIS section will contribute to the master plan preparation process,” Mr Muderere said.
Mr Edmund Magaya, the Chief Town Planner (research and development) said the City of Harare went through a draft questionnaire covering demographics, employment characteristics, housing, education, churches, cemeteries, recreation, tourism, health, security, environment and related issues.
He presented a questionnaire on organisations and institutions. This covered industry and commerce, statutory bodies like other local authorities., together with providers of infrastructure and services.
These included the National Road Administration (ZINARA), National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) for airports, aerodromes and air-strips, Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) with service providers like TelOne, NetOne, Econet, PowerTel, ZOL, Liquid Telcom and Telecel.
On water, Harare Water and Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) play a key role. Harare water covers sewerage as well. The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) will provide power.
“Stakeholders will help refine the questionnaires before we go for a pilot study to test the tools before 300 research assistants are engaged to carry out a full-fledged master plan research study,” Mr Magaya said.