Mayoral Mansion Empty
Gweru to turn mayoral mansion into guest house
THE cash-strapped Gweru City council has made plans to turn the mayoral mansion, which has been lying idle for more than a decade into a guest lodge, NewZimbabwe.com has learnt.
Local government minister Ignatius Chombo ordered cities and towns to splash on the mansions after the government introduced executive mayors between 1996 and 1997. The offices would be abolished about a decade later.
Speaking at a full council meeting last Friday, Gweru Mayor Hamutendi Kombayi said the Midlands capitals mayoral mansion had been a white elephant for many years adding the building should now be turned into a viable entity.
The local authority almost sold the mansion located in the city’s Kopje area in 2004 only to backtrack on the plan after councillors suggested that it was a necessary asset that could be used as security when borrowing money from banks.
It has not been used since.
“The mayoral mansion has been lying idle for a long time now and something should be done to turn into a viable entity,” Kombayi said.
Seconding the motion, finance committee chairperson councillor Albert Chirau said the city’s engineering department should move with speed to make sure that boreholes were sunk at the property.
Chirau said turning the house into a lodge meant running a business for council instead of letting it lie ideal.
“Turning the mayoral mansion into a lodge is a civic investment for council. We will be running a business instead of letting the building being a white elephant,” Chirau said.