Gweru sticks to its guns over mayoral mansion

Gweru mayor Charles Chikozho has said council would stick to its resolution to turn the mayoral mansion into a guest lodge in a bid to boost revenue for the cash-strapped local authority.

BY STEPHEN CHADENGA

Council made the resolution three years ago to turn the mansion, which has been lying idle since the departure of then mayor, Sesel Zvidzai in 2008 into a lodge, but the project stalled after there were proposals for newly-appointed town clerk Elizabeth Gwatipedza to use it as her residence.

“We will stick to the 2015 resolution and the mayoral mansion would be turned into a guest house,” Chikozho said in an interview.

“The white elephant has to benefit council and should be converted into an income generating venture.”

Chikozho said council was working on acquiring a house for the Gwatipedza, who has been travelling from Redcliff since her appointment in December 2016.

In 2016, the Judicial Services Commission approached council requesting to lease the building and use it as the seat for High Court sessions, but residents objected the move, arguing council would not benefit from such a deal.

The mayoral mansion is one white elephant that Gweru has for years been urged to exploit, as the city’s coffers are running dry due to dwindling income streams to sustain the local authority’s successive budgets.

At one point, council tried to lease out the property for $3 000 per month to interested tenants, but found no takers.

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