Gweru lines up US$200 million projects


GWERU City Council has lined up infrastructure development and service delivery projects worth about US$200 million to be undertaken this year.

During a first quarter budget review meeting last week, Gweru City Council finance director, Mr Owen Masimba, said the local authority was working on various developmental projects some of which have already commenced.

These include a US$115 215 000 water and sanitation infrastructure upgrade and rehabilitation project to be sponsored by Chinese engineering company China Geo-Engineering Corporation (CGC).

Mr Masimba said the local authority had also submitted a layout plan for the extension of the Central Business District to the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, for approval.

The local authority has also identified a partner for its US$10 million Midlands State University students accommodation facilities in Senga and as well as a state-of-the-art shopping mall.

“We have various projects that we are planning to undertake this year as council. We have an update of the progress on planned major capital projects and status. Some of the planned projects include procurement of new high lift pumps at Gwenoro — our major water source, which will gobble about US$1 855 000. We have already signed a contract for that. We are also procuring low lift pumps at the same water source for US$1,7 million.

“We are also going to introduce smart water meters and we expect the project to cost US$12 million. We are also going to have an electronic prepaid parking system that we are going to introduce. This will be a joint venture.

“We are going to install parking management software at an estimated cost of US$1,3 million. All the planned projects have a total cost of $198 091 703,” he said.

Mr Masimba said the local authority will soon start servicing Mkoba 21 stands after an expression of interest by a partner.

The project is expected to cost US$23 million. He said council was still grappling with a debt of US$58 million to its creditors, which rose from $57 million.

Mr Masimba said the local authority was owed $64 million by defaulting clients.

“We have made some achievements since the beginning of the year. We purchased three refuse trucks and we expect them next week. We cleared a $500 000 overdraft with a local bank that has been saddling the city for years. Debtors fell from just over $65 million to just above $64 million shedding a total of $1 064 140. Creditors marginally increased from $57 million to $58 million. There is also a world class Holiday Inn Express Hotel construction project underway,” he said.—

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