Mt Hampden residents have expressed concern over the development of a new city in the area, with a new parliament building almost complete.
The new city, expected to stretch a reported 150 square km in three provinces, that is, Harare, Mashonaland West and Mashonaland Central, could affect thousands of locals who rely on agriculture, brick-moulding, mining and other economic activities in the area.
A Mt Hampden resident who spoke to the Zimbabwe Independent expressed anxiety over the development. The resident said:
What will happen to people from Mazowe Road going beyond the Lomagundi Highway (Harare-Chirundu)? I understand the city would go past that road.
Meanwhile, in an interview, the Local Government and Public Works ministry Director of Spatial Planning and Development Honesty Magaya said there is some work that needs to be done before the project commences. Said Magaya:
There is a draft masterplan which is being presented at all levels of government and all presentations are running until early July.
The boundaries may be adjusted but the presentations on the masterplan are handling that issue.
The drafts have their boundaries but we cannot discuss these dimensions as we would be pre-emptying decisions for those discussing the masterplan.
A real position on what is being done and on what form would be indicated through presentations being done and only one or two have already been done. There was also workshop input received from stakeholders.
At the moment it is various government entities that will receive presentations and the input made will shape what would be said about the new city.
The new city is expected to decongest the capital Harare, whose population has grown from an estimated 616 000 in 1980 to approximately 2.2 million at present.