The Gweru Residents Forum has received disturbing reports emanating from Gweru City Town house that there is a cabal of some councillors and council management officials who are pushing the agenda of selling council owned Gweru Sports Club and its environs to a private developer for a song under the guise of urban development and improving the city scape. While the GRF fully understand the need to transform the cities in line with international best practices the GRF is disturbed at the haste of undertaking such an initiative in a turbulent socio-economic environment whereby council does not realise much in terms of revenue to the benefit of a few individuals who are bent on disposing public assets for personal gain including among them the alleged allocation of luxurious vehicles to some individuals by the intended beneficiary.
The existence of Gweru Sports Club is critical in the beautification and greening of the city of progress and the people of Gweru deserve recreational facilities as prescribed by the Section 198 of Schedule 2 paragraph 1 and 2 of the Urban Councils Act Chapter 291:15 which compels the urban councils to ensure that they maintain open spaces and recreational facilities and Gweru Sports club and the adjacent open space is one of them. In this vein the residents of Gweru still rue from the previous debacle whereby the previous councillors and management some of them still sitting in the current council connived to purchase council owned cattle for as little as $49 per beast for their personal benefit. Such kleptocratic tendencies have no place in the administration of the city which at the moment if facing dire financial distress and residents are yearning for improved service provision which has not been realised for a very long time now and the residents bear the brunt of uncollected refuse, burst sewer pipes, erratic portable water supplies, inefficient billing system among a litany of service provision inadequacies.
We call upon the Makombe led council to be make sound policy in the public interest and not to arbitrarily and nichodemously dispose of such historical public assets for a song not even worth its value to enrich individuals in the process. While the GRF appreciates the need for urban City transformation historical epitaphs of the city are equally important and the promotion of sport and recreation within the city is equally paramount. Moreover the timing of the proposed disposal of the estate is wrong and only personal enrichment motives can justify the ill-informed move.
As Gweru Residents Forum we recommend that Gweru City Council
- Rescind the proposed sale of Gweru Sports Club in the Public Interest
- Look for other alternatives for the so called investor to invest if they are genuine concerns of meaningful investment in the city
- GCC desists from pseudo stakeholder engagement and undertake genuine engagements with the concerned stakeholders and not a selected few in the governance agenda of the council processes.
- GCC opens up council systems and processes to the general public in line with the principles of good public administration as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Zimbabwe Amendment Number 20 of 2013
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