Panners force Government building evacuation
Michael Magoronga [email protected]
A building that was being used by a number of Government departments in Kwekwe City has been decommissioned amid reports the structure is precariously hanging on top of underground mining tunnels.
Government departments including the District Development Coordinator (DDC) and District Registrar among others, have been ordered to vacate the building with immediate effect and look for alternative accommodation.
Other affected departments include the Kwekwe Civil Courts, District Development Fund (DDF), Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services and CMED among others.
Government departments in Kwekwe are dotted across the city as it does not have a Government Complex yet other towns including small towns like Gokwe and Lupane have such buildings.
Addressing a Kwekwe District Civil Protection Unit (CPU) meeting, Kwekwe DDC, who chairs the committee, Mr Fortune Mpungu said the decison to decommission the building follows findings of a recent study by the Zimbabwe National Geo Special and Space Agency (ZINGSA).
The survey was carried out following the unfortunate incident which resulted in the decommissioning of Globe and Phoenix Primary School in March after a classroom block caved in injuring scores of pupils.
“We received a report that the building has been decommissioned and we should vacate with immediate effect. The ZINGSA report was submitted to our superiors in Harare and we are expecting to receive the full report once they are done with it. We have to find alternative accommodation for our officers since this is an emergency,” said Mr Mpungu.
After the Globe and Phoenix Primary incident, President Mnangagwa ordered that a geo techno survey be conducted in Kwekwe to assess the extent of the damage caused by underground mining tunnels.
Government also announced that a Government complex will be expeditiously constructed in the city to accommodate Government departments.
District public works officer Mr Willard Madamombe said he had been tasked to secure alternative offices.
“We have already secured office space at some buildings but the main challenge is that some of the offices are on fourth floor making it difficult for the elderly and people living with disabilities to access services such as acquiring national documents. We are still looking for other options that are user friendly,” he said.
Mr Madamombe said another option is to refurbish a complex situated out of the city centre but the challenge is that it is too far from the people.
“We are still in liaison with departments like the Registrar’s General’s Office so that we find offices that can easily be accessed by members of the public,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Mpungu announced that pupils from the affected Globe and Phoenix Primary School will continue conducting lessons at the Sally Mugabe Primary School grounds.
He however said there is a need to work on the ablution facilities at the school as they are now being used by an increased number of pupils.
“Lessons will continue at Sally Mugabe Primary when schools open for the second term. We have received funding that we have used to buy a generator, flood lights, submersible pump and boards to ensure comfortable learning environment,” he said.
Mr Mpungu said Kuvimba Mining House donated land where a new Globe and Phoenix Primary School will be built.
“We have to carry out land clearing, ensure that the place is fenced and that there are enough ablution facilities before moving our tents to the new site,” he said.