By Matabeleland North Correspondent
VICTORIA FALLS – A commission that was set up to assess the resort town’s capacity to be granted city status has recommended it be given the status, prompting excitement among residents.
Local Government Minister July Moyo in 2017 set up a commission following an application by the local authority’s management.
The commission visited Victoria Falls and in its report to Minister Moyo, stated the council had suitable infrastructure and was well run to be granted city status.
Moyo on Wednesday moved the motion in parliament seeking MPs’ resolve to compel President Mnangagwa to accord the tourism town city status.
“Following receipt of an application by Victoria Falls Municipality for upgrading to city status in terms of section 14 (1) of the Urban Councils Act, I appointed a commission to investigate the suitability of the council to be elevated to a city status.
“It is imperative to stress that the municipality is up to date with audited accounts and has also crafted a robust redevelopment concept for the coveted city.
“I therefore call upon parliament to resolve and recommend to the President to proclaim the municipality as a city and thereby Victoria Falls assume the status of an eminent tourism city in the world,” said Moyo.
He said government will now devolve some services and responsibilities to the city which already now has a Stock Exchange which was opened a week ago.
“I want to thank honourable members for supporting the noble cause and supporting Victoria Falls because after all, it is not me who asked that Victoria Falls become a city but it is the councillors, residents and businesses who appealed to government to consider them as grown-ups,” added Moyo.
MPs went out in full support of the idea, with local MP Godfrey Dube saying the envisaged new city should not be treated the same with other cities countrywide.
“We are happy that Victoria Falls has been given the city status. The minister should make sure there is a special arrangement for the Victoria Falls city status.
“It should not be equated to other cities like Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru and others because this one is different,” he said.
The city status is expected to open investment gates for the country’s prime tourism town which is also a special economic zone.