Gweru acts on dilapidated CBD buildings

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GWERU City Council has threatened not to renew 2023 operating licenses to businesses operating in
dilapidated buildings in the Gweru Central Business District which it says have become an eyesore
and a danger to the public.
In proposing this drastic measure, the local authority noted that some of the buildings in the CBD are
in a “ruinous, dilapidated and unsightly state, showing signs of being dangerous, neglected and likely
to cause injury to the general public and to values of adjacent properties”.
City of Gweru acting Town Clerk Vakai Douglas Chikwekwe gave a public notice to businesses in
terms of Section 35 of the Act as read with Chapter 2 (Sections 48 and 49) of the Model Building By-
laws.
He said the owners of buildings in a dilapidated and neglected state in the area bound by Tongogara
Avenue, First Street, Jason Moyo Avenue and Tenth Street should take the necessary corrective
measures as regards face-lifting and sprucing up of their respective buildings within three months.
“These buildings require different actions depending on their state(s) and condition(s). Failure to
comply will result in Council seeking legal recourse and issue respective Court Order,” said
Chikwekwe who added that those with objections can lodge them with his office.
The acting Town Clerk said the local authority has the right to cancel or refuse registration of
premises if not meeting various pieces of legislation and requirements regarding operation of
business as stated in Gweru according to the Public Health Act- Chapter 15; 17. Section 104 which
prohibits nuisance.
Some of the issues regarded as nuisance are:
“Any dwelling or premises which is or are of such construction or in such a state or so situated or
unsanitary or so infected with pests and parasites as to be injuries or dangerous to health, or which
is or are liable to favour the spread or any infectious disease
“Any trade premises not kept in a cleanly state free from offensive smells arising from any drain,
sanitary continence or urinal, or not ventilated so as to destroy or render harmless and inoffensive
as for as practicable any gases, vapours dust or other impurities generated, or so overcrowded or so
badly lighted or ventilated as to be injuries or dangerous to the health of those employed herein,”
Chikwekwe urged all property owners to meet the required standards and failure to comply, council
will not issue out 2023 operating licenses.
Zimbabwe launched its smart city blueprint named the Zimbabwe Smart Sustainable Cities Initiative
in March 2018.
The Zimbabwe Smart Sustainable Cities Initiative Green paper lists access to clean water,
beautification of the city, improved health delivery, and the establishment of a sufficient public
transport as some of the objectives of Zimbabwe’s attempts to create smart cities.

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