Gwanda eyes City status by 2023

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Gwanda (Ilanga-New Ziana) – Gwanda has set 2023 as a target to attain city status, a top official of the town’s municipality has said.

In an exclusive interview, Gwanda Mayor Justone Mazhale said he was confident of transforming the mining town into a city by the target date inspite of the prevailing economic challenges the country was facing.

In pursuit of the goal, the municipality has entered into several developmental partnerships to expedite the development of both residential and commercial properties to lure investors.

Among other things, to attain city status, a town must have at least 10 000 houses, serviced road infrastructure, good sewer and water reticulation system and reliable clean water.

“Our vision is to attain city status by 2023, hence we are vigorously working on our infrastructure and road networks which are being tarred as we speak right now. I am very optimistic that by end of June next year, most of our roads in the high density suburbs will be tarred,” said Mazhale.

As regards the water situation in the town, he said: “In principle we agreed with Zinwa that we will have to takeover water management and the issue is at ministerial level.The 5 mega liter water tank is almost finished and the pump arrived this week and the testing can be done anytime. Our engineering department will be flashing the pipes and establishing the cracks and if we have enough water that is one way of attracting investors,” he said.

Mazhale said most of the commercial stands in Gwanda had been reserved for big companies listed on the stock exchange.

“If we manage to attract PSMAS, Nyaradzo, Econet and other big companies, we would have attracted money, would have attracted services as well as employment for the local people. Zimbabwe Traffic Safety Board has already paid for their stand and servicing. Big banks have already been approached and indicators are positive,” he said.

To buttress his points, the Town Clerk, Priscilla Nkala said Gwanda was also in good partnership with local mines such as Vumbachikwe, Blanket and Colleen Bawn.

“We are taking a leaf from what Mimmosa mine is doing to Zvishavane” she said.

In addition, she talked of crafting a policy that will be flexible to investors and suitable for their vision.

Residents who talked to Ilanga expressed happiness about this positive development.

Conwell Siphuma from Ward 8 in Phakama said this will be a great achievement for Gwanda.

“This will be a wonderful development. Once we attain a city status, I am 100 percent confident that first and foremost the pricing madness will be naturally controlled. Currently, Gwanda is the most expensive town in the country. The reason being that the business community claim to be (obtaining) their wares from Bulawayo and Mussina in South Africa,” said Siphuma.

Senior citizen, gogo MaNare said the development will improve service delivery.

“I think if we become a city, the local authority will be more serious and work on improving service delivery system,” said MaNare from the town’s oldest Jahunda suburb.

Ilanga-New Ziana

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