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Victoria Falls Attains City Status

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By Matabeleland North Correspondent


ALL is set for conferment of city status to Victoria Falls Municipality this Wednesday, with President Mnangagwa arriving in the resort town Tuesday evening.

Ahead of the President’s arrival were Local Government Minister July Moyo, Matabeleland North Minister of State Richard Moyo and Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda to witness the conferment of city status to a municipality that boasts of being the mainstay of the country’s tourism.

Speaking soon after receiving Mnangagwa at the airport, Victoria Falls mayor Somvelo Dlamini said all was set for the ceremony adding that there was too much excitement in the town.

“All is set. We are ready and have made necessary arrangements. All that is left is for the President to do the official signing but otherwise it’s all done because he has since proclaimed through an SI,” said Cllr Dlamini.

Earlier on Tuesday, President Mnangagwa proclaimed Victoria Falls a city through Statutory Instrument 285 of 2020 whose substance is to upgrade the municipality into a city in terms of the Urban Councils Act.

“Whereas in terms of Section 141 of the Urban Councils Act Chapter 29:15 it is provided that a growth point, unincorporated urban area, local board or council may apply to the Minister in the form and manner prescribed for a change of its status.

“Whereas by section 14(2) of the said Act the Minister took necessary steps under the Act to effect the changes applied for and whereas Section 5 and 6 of the said Act have been complied with, I consider it desirable to make this proclamation by virtue of powers vested in the President, I do by this proclamation alter the name Victoria Falls Municipality to Victoria Falls City, and also assign the name Victoria Falls to City Council,” said President Mnangagwa through the SI.

The council will also present the President with the Freedom of the City for his contribution to the town’s growth into a city.

It will become the first such honour to be given to anyone by the municipality in its history.

Hopes are high that the city status will make the town competitive around the world.

Players in the tourism sector have said over the years they had played second fiddle to other tourist destinations because Victoria Falls was not appearing among cities.

It will be the second tourism city in the region after Cape Town.

Victoria Falls’ population is estimated around 40 000.