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 socio-economic 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.