Gokwe town eyes mu­nic­i­pal sta­tus

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business - Pa­trick Chi­tumba Mid­lands Bureau

GOKWE Town Coun­cil says its tar­get is to achieve mu­nic­i­pal sta­tus by 2020 and has em­barked on in­fras­truc­tural de­vel­op­ment as part of mea­sures to up­grade the town.

Gokwe Town sec­re­tary Ms Me­la­nia Mandeya said for a town to at­tain mu­nic­i­pal sta­tus there are a num­ber of de­ter­mi­nants such as the de­vel­op­ment of road in­fras­truc­ture as well as hous­ing con­struc­tion. Among the de­vel­op­ments, she said was the com­ple­tion of a town house, which gob­bled about $218 mil­lion.

“We have set 2020 as the tar­get to have achieved mu­nic­i­pal­ity sta­tus. This town has great po­ten­tial to grow and play a huge part in the so­cioe­co­nomic de­vel­op­ment of the coun­try.

“We have em­barked on in­fras­truc­tural de­vel­op­ment and we are con­cen­trat­ing on roads re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion as well as hous­ing con­struc­tion. We are also con­struct­ing schools, a com­mu­nity hall and a sta­dium. The other project lined up is the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of the town’s wa­ter and sewer retic­u­la­tion sys­tem,” she said. Ms Mandeya said even the struc­ture and ma­te­rial used for the build­ing of com­mer­cial build­ings had to change for the town to meet the mu­nic­i­pal­ity sta­tus.

She said the lo­cal author­ity is fund­ing the projects from its cof­fers ex­cept the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of the wa­ter and sewer retic­u­la­tion sys­tem.

The wa­ter and sewer retic­u­la­tion sys­tem is be­ing re­fur­bished in part­ner­ship with the Zim­babwe Na­tional Wa­ter Author­ity and United Na­tions In­ter­na­tional Chil­dren’s Emer­gency Fund un­der the Wa­ter, San­i­ta­tion and Hy­giene (Wash) pro­gramme.

“Res­i­dents are pay­ing a levy to­wards the con­struc­tion of a new school in Nyaradza sub­urb and so far two class­room blocks are at roof level.

“We have em­barked on such projects to meet the Rapid Re­sult Ap­proach/Rapid Re­sult Ini­tia­tive 100 day tar­gets which com­menced on Au­gust 28 end­ing De­cem­ber 5. As a lo­cal author­ity we have em­braced Zim-As­set clus­ters’ goals which will feed into the na­tional goals,” she said.

Ms Mandeya said the big­gest chal­lenge the lo­cal author­ity was fac­ing was the in­creas­ing wage bill which has a back­log of 17 months.

Gokwe Town whose de­vel­op­ment is hinged on cot­ton pro­duc­tion, is slowly awak­en­ing from a slum­ber that had threat­ened its growth af­ter farm­ers had aban­doned grow­ing the white gold.

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