Itai Muzondo in Gweru
GWERU – City of Gweru has recommended the allocation of 50 stands for kiosks to less privileged residents as part of wider efforts to alleviate poverty, TellZim News can reveal.
The move comes as a follow up to requests by councillors to the city's director of engineering services, Engineer Robson Manatsa, to identify sites that could be used for such development.
In a report presented in a full council meeting held recently, Manatsa noted that visits for the purpose of identifying suitable sites that conform to the city's by-laws and town planning principles had already been made.
"As at 30 November 2017, 50 sites had been inspected and are hereby recommended as suitable for use as kiosk sites. It should be noted that the exercise has, so far, covered wards 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 17 and 18. The remaining wards are 1 - 4, 6, 7, 12, 15 and 16," Manatsa said.
However, some councillors, including Mayor Charles Chikozho, said the city should identify more
such sites for the benefit of more residents.
"The kiosks being offered are very few. They also do not add up to spaces that were identified during the tours," Chikozho said.
Ward 17 Cllr, Farai Muza concurred, saying the exercise had to be expanded to fight poverty.
"More kiosk sites should be identified so that the programme can achieve its goal of pulling out more people out of dire poverty," Muza said.
Cllr Simon Chapukira of Ward 5 said new suburbs must not be forgotten as they too were home to many desperate residents. Other councillors proposed that at least five kiosks per ward be established in the first phase of the exercise.
Management, however, emphasised that town planning rules must never be overlooked for whatever goals the city might be pursuing.
"Such interests must be balanced with competing community interests such as the need for play grounds as well as land for urban agriculture and breathing space. The process must avoid the clustering of kiosk to the point of creating informal shopping centres," said Eng Manatsa.
Town Clerk Elizabeth Gwatipedza also advised that allocation should be done in phases to enable management to plan in accordance with the necessary by-laws.local