Plans by Gokwe Town Council to construct a $400 000 building to house its operations have angered residents who say the money must be spent on improving service delivery.
Tapiwa Marongwe, council chairman, said the building was necessary because council was spending too much money on rentals for its offices scattered around town. He said council was paying $900 a month for rent for its offices at the government complex and another $700 to Zimpost, which houses the local authority’s revenue hall.
“There is never a right time to build a house,” Marongwe said, insisting there was no going back on the project.
“The best time to build a house is when you don’t have one. For us as a town this is the best time.”
But the chairperson of the town’s residents’ association Pranos Mudzota said embarking on the project at a time council was failing to provide basic services would be ill advised.
“We can’t afford that project at the moment,” he said. “Council needs to focus on service delivery and paying its workers instead of building the town house.”
Council chairperson Darlington Mudondo said the project was a priority for the local authority so it maintains the town status it attained four years ago.
“Our offices are scattered around town making it hard for management to supervise the workforce and make proper decisions,” he said.
“A manager needs a car to move from one department to another, but once the town house is built, we can run our affairs without driving around. We have not borrowed money from outside sources to construct the town house. We are relying on revenue alone.”
Marongwe said council would carry out the construction and produce its bricks to cut down on costs.
The project is expected to be completed by June next year.