GWERU City Council has embarked on a major facelift of its dilapidated roads and infrastructure ahead of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s visit tomorrow where he will be conferred with Freedom of the City status.
In a notice, acting town clerk Livingston Churu said: “The City of Gweru is renovating the city to ensure that the city becomes a sustainable and prosperous city of choice by 2030.
“We have a beautiful vision which we should strive to achieve. We, therefore, implore residents, clients and stakeholders to join us as we improve our city.”
He said shop owners should renovate and spruce up their buildings, informal traders operating in the central business district move to designated areas while noise will not be tolerated in the city centre.
Council workers have been busy putting carriage markings on all major roads in the city, clearing grass and refuse with the renovation of the city’s Boggie Clock Tower being the major attraction.
The rehabilitations and sprucing up of infrastructure ahead of Mnangagwa’s visit, however, received criticism from residents who have been bearing the brunt of poor service delivery.
“Council is now painting buildings and other relevant places to give the President the impression that everything is in order in Gweru, yet council is failing to find a lasting solution to the water crisis we are currently facing,” said one resident, Shepherd Dzuda.
Another resident, Constance Mariko said: “This idea by council to spruce up infrastructure ahead of the President's visit is archaic. It's better to present the challenges as they are to Mnangagwa and his ministers.”
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Mayor Hamutendi Kombayi, however, said they would present council’s challenges to Mnangagwa tomorrow when he arrives.
“We now have the advantage of presenting our challenges to the President as we confer him with the Freedom of the City status,” he said.
Most parts of the city have gone for more than three weeks without water and council blames the situation on incessant power outages at its major pump station at Gwenhoro Dam and Range Booster.
Last year, the decision to bestow the Freedom of the City honour on Mnangagwa caused divisions among councillors, with those belonging to the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) opposing the idea.
The battle led to the suspension of three CCC councillors.
A resolution to grant Mnangagwa the status was then passed by the MDC Alliance councillors.
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