By Kelvin Kasiwulaya
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has pledged to assist and work with the City of Gweru in positively transforming the local authority’s service delivery system for the benefit of all residents.
The President’s pledge came after Mayor Hamutendi Kombayi pleaded for assistance in dealing with long-standing water shortages that are bedeviling the city.
The Head of State once assisted the local authority in acquiring water pumps for the Gwenhoro pump station, however, the procurement of the former did not alleviate the City’s water woes.
Obsolete equipment acquired in the 1950s at Gwenhoro continues to hinder the Municipalities’ quest to supply adequate water to its residents and various stakeholders.
In his acceptance speech, after being conferred with the Freedom of the City award by the City of Gweru, President Mnangagwa said the second republic remained available to exchange progressive ideas towards transforming local authorities and the country as a whole.
“Your worship Mayor Kombayi, I have heard what you have said and I am glad to work with you, as the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe. I want to assure you that the Second
Republic remains available to exchange progressive ideas toward transforming our cities and the country as a whole.
However, it is the local authorities who must live up to their primary mandate of delivering responsive and people-centered quality services at the community level,” he said
President Mnangagwa said the central government was in the process of availing financial resources for the refurbishment of water and sewer reticulation systems
“In view of the evident shortcomings within local authorities to collect and prudently utilize resources of ratepayers, my Government is in the process of availing financial resources for the improvement of water and sewer reticulation systems; rehabilitation and development of roads; ICTs, refuse removal and public lighting, among others. The welfare of the people of our great country remains paramount.
The President also called upon The City of Gweru to live up to the billing of its moniker ‘The City of Progress”.
“Gweru is known as the City of Progress, as such, I urge you. Your Worship the Mayor and councilors, to ensure that this mantra is translated to realities on the ground. I am aware that various areas within the City need improvement. The delivery of quality water and sewer infrastructure; roads. ICTs; waste management and refuse collection, public lighting, as well as other critical services for our people must be scaled up.
“As the provincial capital of Midlands Province, much is expected from the City Fathers. Gweru must indeed progress. While I recognize the fact that not all challenges can be resolved in one day, all local authorities must, however, have clear development plans to enhance service delivery and foster incremental development,” he added.
Giving his appreciation for being conferred with the Freedom of the City of Gweru award, President Mnangagwa commended the local authority’s councilors for their political maturity.
“Given that Gweru City Council is made up of councilors from different political parties, backgrounds and persuasions, this honour is apolitical. It is also a demonstration that our democracy is maturing and some political leaders across the political party divide, are able to act objectively for the broader national good.
“This is what it should be. We are all Zimbabweans and this is our home. Congratulations Gweru through this act, you further attest to the fact that there is much more that unites us no matter our party preferences,” said President Mnangagwa.
President Mnangagwa was conferred with the Freedom of the City of Gweru at a ceremony held at the City’s civic center in honour of his vast and iconic contribution to the city.
Freedom of the City is the highest civic honour council can bestow on a prominent person for meritorious service, either of a national or local character.
The last conferment was in 1992 when the late founding President Robert Mugabe was bestowed with the status by Gweru City Council. #The Sun