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New dawn for real estate in Zimbabwe

New dawn for real estate in Zimbabwe

By Edward Mukaro

ZIMBABWE has scored a first by becoming the first African state to recognise and celebrate real estate, through the recent launch of inaugural National Real Estate Day in Zimbabwe (NREDZ) celebrations, to create awareness and appreciation for the significance and relevance of real estate, as a key contributor to the socio-economic development of Zimbabwe Real Estate Institute of Zimbabwe immediate past president, Alexander Millin has said.

REIZ identified the need for a special day to be set aside, each year, to celebrate all things to do with real estate; hence, in March 2020, an application was submitted to the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs seeking the Government’s approval for the establishment of a National Real Estate Day in Zimbabwe (NREDZ).

The Government of Zimbabwe, through General Notice number 2608 of 2021 duly published in the Zimbabwean Government Gazette dated 10th September 2021 declared 15th October recurring annually as the National Real Estate Day in Zimbabwe.

Speaking in an interview with this publication, Millin paid tribute to His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the ministry of Justice for recognizing the importance of real estate by setting aside a day in the country’s calendar.

“This is not a public holiday falling within the ambit of the Public Holidays and Prohibition of Business Act (Chapter 10:21). All the same, this is a very special day, which should be celebrated by all citizens of Zimbabwe. 

“We are profoundly grateful to His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Cde E.D. Mnangagwa, the Government of Zimbabwe, and the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Honourable Ziyambi Ziyambi for recognizing this very important day. The NREDZ is the first of its kind in Zimbabwe and the continent of Africa. Only a handful of countries celebrate a real estate-related day,” said Millin.

The inaugural NREDZ in Zimbabwe was launched by the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Virginia Mabiza on 15th October 2021.

Millin stated that the day is crucial to the sector as business players will use the day for various beneficial aspects that will enhance the performance of the sector, through symposiums and various measures that will bring into focus issues impacting the sector.

“This day is essential as it will enhance awareness and it will bring into focus the issues impacting the real estate sector in Zimbabwe. These include the menacing bogus estate agents and bogus valuers and unscrupulous land barons and the need for research modules, which can boost the performance of the sector.

“Additionally, the day will facilitate discussion on aspects such as real estate tourism which will certainly promote the development of sustainable real estate projects in Zimbabwe.”

Commenting on the current state of the real estate business, he expressed concern at how the COVID impact had taken its toll on the sector.

“Currently the real estate sector in Zimbabwe is in a state of flux. Sales activity remains low as the sector is still trying to deal with the aftershocks of the first waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. Operating costs continue to spiral and building owners are facing a huge challenge as they endeavour to earn a reasonable return on their investments,” he said.

More than a year after the outbreak of COVID-19, real estate leaders are still coming to terms with the enormity of the immediate economic fallout from the pandemic and the far-reaching consequences for how people live, work and interact with the built environment.

Several annual celebratory events will be held across the country, which will include seminars and workshops which will be simulcast on all TV and radio stations, live debates, essay and art competitions will be held in primary and secondary schools and institutions of higher learning, special train rides will be undertaken with stopovers where talks relating to real estate will be delivered to the local populace. Lectures will be conducted during the train ride.

To add to that, the day will also see outreach programmes rolled out to all provinces of the country, parades with accompanying live bands will be held in all provinces, spots tournaments will be held in all Provinces. Exhibitions will be held in all art galleries in the country and provincial gala dinners amongst a host of other initiatives.

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