The government has finally allocated ZWL$13.7 million for teacher housing projects following years of lobbying by various teacher unions.
In a letter dated 17 December 2020 and addressed to the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Tumisang Thabela, the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities outlined the criteria to be used to identify the beneficiaries of the facility.
According to the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities, only junior civil servants meeting the following criteria will get the funds:
- The applicant should have served in Government for a period not less than two years.
- Should show proof of ownership of a house or stand which he/she intends to extend or build or produce proof of offer to purchase residential property.
- The loan deduction should leave the member remaining with at least 30% of his/her gross emoluments.
- Loans should be restricted to a minimum of ZWL$100 000 and a maximum of ZWL$200 000.
The letter further directs Thabela:
Be advised that the Borrower shall have to maintain for the period of the loan, insurance cover calculated at the rate of 2% per annum on the remaining capital balance, over and above the 5% annual interest rate.
You are therefore required to reconstitute selection committees to recommend candidates to this Ministry.
The selection process ought to be gender-sensitive and also cascade to the Provinces and Districts.
However, the money allocated for teacher housing projects by the Ministry of National Housing is paltry considering that the government employs about 136 000.
According to the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), the ZWL$13.7 million translates to a mere ZWL$125 per teacher, just over US$1.00.