By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent
The municipality of CHINHOYI, which had decided to ban the use of farm bricks in construction as of January 1, 2022, declared a six-month moratorium on the decision.
This means the ban will go into effect on June 30, when all real estate developers will still be able to use farm bricks that have been banned as their manufacture is blamed for massive environmental degradation in and around Chinhoyi. .
The council had given brick molders and residents an ultimatum to end up using the type of brick to lessen the impact of environmental damage.
A plenary council meeting on Tuesday decided to push the new measures further to allow those who had already purchased farm bricks to use them.
Chinhoyi Mayor Garikai Dendera confirmed the development to NewZimbabwe.com.
Dendera said: “We took into account the outcry from residents who thought council had given brief notice on the ban on farm bricks, so we decided to effectively ban their use in June. Thus, all those who had started the construction of brick farm buildings can finish them within this grace period because later they will be banned. “
The mayor said that the municipality has taken the decision to stop the use of agricultural bricks in accordance with the concept of “smart city”, which dictates that the materials used in construction activities must promote sustainable environmental use and exploitation. natural resources.
Farm brick makers, Dendera said, left huge pits where they mine sand, and these locally owned strips of land would be very expensive to maintain before allocating stands.
In making this unpopular decision, the council also wanted to stop the unwarranted felling of trees that bricklayers use to light ovens or kilns.
City clerk Maxwell Kaitano told the entire council that he has since written letters of invitation to three reputable brick-making companies, namely; Willdale, Beta and Macdonald’s will come to set up factories in the future city.
Shaken by the specter of losing urban votes, the MDC Alliance, which dominates Chinhoyi Municipality Council, recently whipped councilors over a motion to overturn a resolution passed in September banning farm bricks in construction of housing.
Some advisers, who requested anonymity, confirmed to NewZimbabwe.com that they had been flogged, either to cancel or to extend the effective date of the ban by at least three years.
Skeptics note that the timing of the ban also betrays a plot to profit from a monopoly to make “standard and environmentally friendly” bricks by a coterie of rogue advisers, senior officials and investors. .
Mutare and other towns have banned the use of agricultural bricks for the construction of commercial, industrial and residential structures, in accordance with guidelines from the Environmental Management Agency (EMA).