His worship the Mayor Councillor Josiah Makombe addressed the media, stakeholders and residents associations on the state of the City address held on the 28th of September 2020 at the Mayor’s Parlour.“The rapid response team for COVID 19 is active with contact tracing , health education and promotion sessions; supervised burials and case management being done on prompt response to the pandemic. I urge the public to adhere to the COVID 19 control and containment measures of hand hygiene ; social distancing and face masks, ’’said the Mayor Cllr J Makombe.
“Our Ivene clinic was renovated under the CDF funds and council will do the remaining work ,’’said the Mayor.In relation to diarrhoeal diseases our health department encourages residents to use narrow mouthed containers in storing water for drinking and to either boil or chlorinate all water from other sources besides council supply.
Due to fuel challenges residents are encouraged to practice the 3R concept which ensure reducing the amount of waste they generate for a cleaner environment. “We are facing continuous water shortages and we have been forced to adopt a strict water rationing schedule. Therefore we urge our valued residents to use water sparingly while following the water rationing schedule which may increase this season”.
The recently acquired Amapongokwe low lift pumps are down and both Gwenoro and Amapongokwe dam level have gone down. However there are 60 boreholes which are also servicing some dry areas but due to human misconduct some of the boreholes are continuously having challenges which always need repair. “I am urging our valued residents to ensure social distancing and WHO regulations at the boreholes”, said his worship Cllr J Makombe.
There is rise in blockages especially in high density areas as a result of human negligence and improper disposal of waste. Our engineering team rerouted Mkoba 14 chicken inn sewer which had perennial blockages and it is now working well. His worship the Mayor said, “we have managed to clear 10 KM of storm water drains but there is a challenge of residents dumping solid waste into the drainage especially on the inlets and outlets of culverts. Routine maintenance of roads mainly pothole patching has been done but limited to the town area and a few major roads as the program was disturbed by the COVID 19 lockdown. Tendering for periodic maintenance is in progress for surfacing of Moramutambara and Swazi Roads.”
Due to financial constraints street lights and tower lights in residential areas have not been attended to. City of Gweru technical team will be working on street lights starting with Lobengula and R. G Mugabe.The housing department has experienced an upsurge in demand for housing in the City. The housing waiting list currently stands at 33 205 home seekers. Beneficiaries who purchased residential stands in Mkoba 21 in 2014 need their stands to be serviced. Council has engaged three land developers to service the stands.
“The need to upgrade Mtapa High density can never be overemphasised. Mtapa, which is one of the oldest suburbs in the city, needs urgent upgrading in order to uplift the standard of living of the residents. Conversion of the rented houses to home ownership will see 198 families in Mtapa owning houses. Mtapa section 3 will have 127 families while Mtapa section has 71 families. However, 166 families will be relocated to new housing schemes in Mambo Infill, Shamrock Infill and Mkoba 21”,said the Mayor. We are also upgrading vending facilities through the partnership with CASAS and Bentach Companies has pushed the vendors to remain at home. The vendor’s waiting list stands at 5142 traders.
The city continues to experience financial woes due to reluctance by residents to honour their bills. This is manifested by the ever increasing level of debtors. “Our monthly collections continue to lag behind. I humbly plead with stakeholders and clients to honour their bills to ensure quality service provision”. The Mayor said, “our tariffs were last reviewed in July 2020 to 75% of the approved budget , this will reflect on the August 2020 bills. However due to inflationary pressures these tariffs are no longer sustainable , so stakeholders must be geared for another review in the near future.
I would like to apologise for the late printing of the July 2020 bills this was caused by the breakdown of our printers, which have since been repaired. We hope the August 2020 bills will be coming your way anytime. I am urging our residents to take advantage of our SMS platform where we can send your bills to your phones. It is my humbly plea that residents should submit their mobile numbers to the finance department in order to utilize the platform. We are also finalising an electronic bill payment platform which will enable one to pay bills from anywhere and be able to see transactions over the mobile phone”.
In line with statutory 185 of 2020 on dual pricing , my council has resolved to give the stakeholders the option to pay their bills in either USD or ZWL . “I would however implore on those residents who pay in USD to demand a receipt in USD for our internal control purposes.
Preparations for the 2021 budget are now on course. Budget participatory meetings with stakeholders will begin in the month of October 2020”.
Intercity travel is now allowed due to the loosening of the lockdown restrictions. A new temporary bus terminus is to be used whilst Kudzanai bus terminus is being upgraded. The new temporary bus terminus has been cited at Birchenough road Avenue between Lobengula and Robert Mugabe way. Local buses will be parking at TM bustop