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Chinhoyi Gets Govt Nod For City Status

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By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent


A COMMISSION of Inquiry dispatched by Local Government Minister July Moyo has given thumbs up for the elevation of Chinhoyi Town to city status.

Moyo in April 2019 set up the commission to determine the suitability of Chinhoyi being bestowed city status.

Preliminary indications are that the Mashonaland West administrative capital met all the basic requirements to get the newly elevated status expected to attract business investors to the farming, tourist, and university town.

Town clerk Maxwell Kaitano confirmed the commission had passed the recommendations to Minister Moyo vouching for the bestowment of city status to Chinhoyi.

“We have already been assessed and the commission recommended that we be given city status. But what is left are other processes which we ourselves have to do so that at the end of the day we attain city status,” Kaitano told NewZimbabwe.com Tuesday.

“Actually, the ball is in our court and just two weeks ago, we were with the minister who asked us to polish one or two things. So once we are done, we get city status.”

Kaitano was last month appointed a member of the Local Government Board.

During the adjudication process, the commissioners met the town’s 15 councillors, representatives of residents’ associations, civic society organisations, churches, tertiary institutions, captains of industry and commerce, politicians, students, among other key stakeholders.

The Chinhoyi Residents Trust welcomed the commission’s recommendations as the town guns for city status in order to attract investors.

Said the trust’s chairperson Peter Liwanda: “I reckon Chinhoyi Municipality has made strides in improving service delivery in the town. We envisage the awarding of city status will enable the council to augment its work. We applaud the town clerk and his administration for the good work.”

This is the second time Chinhoyi has applied for city status. Its first bid in 2016 failed.

An assessment report at the time cited the lack of basic infrastructure.

The latest bid by the municipality comes amid concerted efforts to fix dilapidated infrastructure such as roads and the sewer and water reticulation system.

During a media tour of the town last week, a snap survey showed a massive improvement in municipal and ancillary services.

As the municipality primes for the new status, recruitment of critical staff has already started in earnest with plans afoot to employ two lawyers to augment the Chamber Secretary’s department which is responsible for central administration.

Also, job adverts have been flighted for municipal police officers as the local authority moves to curb vandalism of key infrastructural installations such as water pumps and transformers, and takeover parking management services from a contracted private company.

The town, characterised by old city centre properties, impassable roads in residential areas, illegal property developments, dry water taps, uncollected garbage, has had exponential population growth since the inception of Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT), resulting in the local council struggling to provide essential municipal services.

The awarding of city status, Kaitano said, did not entail the town had all necessary infrastructure but would catalyse growth and improve basic social amenities.

The town, situated 115km northwest of Harare, is the administrative capital of Mashonaland West province.

The only other city in the province is Kadoma.