In 1951, members of the British Town Planning Institute resident in Central Africa established a branch to meet the academic and social needs of the profession in the three territories then covered by the Central Africa Joint Planning Service.
The Branch devoted its attention to legal, technical and ethical matters in the local context. Between 960 and 1970, the two northern territories withdrew from the Branch for political, economic and social reasons. In due course, local planners in this country (including those returned from overseas) came more and more to look on the British Institute as a foreign body, and it became clear that the organisation could not be effective in the state of Zimbabwe, with its new economic and social values and ideals, became clear that the organisation could not be effective in the state of Zimbabwe, with its new economic and social values and ideals.
On the 29th May 1980, therefore, and with the agreement of the Royal Town Planning Institute, the Central Africa Branch voted that it should go out of existence after the establishment of a local body constituted in accordance with acceptable professional standards.
A constitution, regulations and a code of conduct were accordingly drafted for a new Institute in Zimbabwe to represent all those active in the different fields of physical planning and to foster local, regional and national planning for the benefit of all the people.
Supported by the then Minister of Local Government and Housing ( the late Hon Dr. E. Zvobgo, MP), the Zimbabwe Institute of Regional and Urban Planners came into being, with fifteen members, on the 25th of November 1980.
By agreement with the British Institute, it inherited the assets and responsibilities of the Central Africa Branch, which became defunct t the end of 1982.
The new Institute, now the only representative body for the planning profession in Zimbabwe, became a full member of the Commonwealth Association of Planners.
Inaugural Speech At the Handbook Launch
Zimbabwe is our heritage and we must bend our united efforts to preserving and improving it. Where it has been destroyed, we must recreate, where threatened we must protect, where we can increase its strength and resources we must do so, and we must lose no opportunity for betterment
Governments and planners in many developing countries are increasingly concerned about the type of development best suited to their needs. But concern does not always equate with precise local knowledge of what should be done, and this seems to indicate a need for guidance.
Our national Institute, the Zimbabwe Institute of Regional and Urban Planners, has been formed to meet such a need and this handbook sets out the aims and the way in which they may be realised.
It is my belief that the Institute can play a major role in building and planning Zimbabwe, and it is my hope that the handbook will prove to be a major contribution to this end.
JONATHAN M. ZAMCHIYA, PRESIDENT (1982 – 1983)