MASHAVA — Renovations of buildings at the Great Zimbabwe University (GZU)’s rented campus at Shabanie-Mashaba Mines (SMM) have gathered momentum with three private construction companies — Newbase, JM Construction and Mashaba Contractors — already on site.
Report by Stephen Chadenga
The university recently obtained a 10-year lease of SMM’s Gaths Mine in Mashava in an effort to ease the office and accommodation crisis that has haunted the State institution. Currently, the GZU is housed at Masvingo Teachers’ College waiting for construction of its main campus near the Great Zimbabwe Monuments.
When NewsDay crew visited the construction site on Wednesday, the construction workers were busy demolishing parts of the run-down mine houses and renovating them.
“We arrived here (Gaths Mine) last week and as you can see the three contractors are each building a model house and once the standard has been approved we continue with our work,” said a worker who declined to be named.
However, the former mine workers expressed mixed feelings over the development, with others fearing for their future, while others welcomed the university.
“We were surprised when non-mine workers were asked to vacate the section where renovations are being carried out. As mine workers we were left there, but we do not know our fate. There is much speculation that the university will take over all the houses and offices and we will be booted out,” said a former SMM employee who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Another worker who only identified himself as Gomba said the coming of the university will inject life into the community which had slumped into a ghost town.
“Maybe there can be some activity here. Though we are just holding on hoping that the mine will resume production in the future, maybe the university can create some temporary employment for us,” Gomba said.
GZU spokesperson James July was not available for comment at the time of going to print yesterday.