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BCC pampers Mayor with $25m Selbourne Park mansion

by Staff reporter
07 Aug 2021 at 07:00hrs | Views
THE MDC-T dominated  Bulawayo City Council has approved the construction of a $25 million  luxurious  mansion for the city's mayor Solomon Mguni at Selbourne Park, in a development which has raised the ire of hard pressed  residents.

Mguni currently resides in Nkulumane high density suburb.

According to a council confidential report, an interdepartmental Committee set up by  council to explore available options has recommended that  council should  build Mguni a new house at a stand owned by the local authority in Selbourne Park.

Initially, the city fathers had proposed to renovate one of the council‘s property at Hornung Golf Club and allocate it to the mayor while the other option was to buy him an upmarket property.

"The committee recommended that council takes into consideration option two as the estimated time of renovations and building were the same. The estimated building costs of a new house were slightly higher than the renovation costs. It was also noted that council could utilize its building branch staff to conduct the special project," reads part of the report.

MDC Alliance Bulawayo spokesperson Swithern Chirowodza immediately distanced the party's councilors from the mayoral mansion's project.

"MDC Alliance is a poor people's party and we do not support such unnecessary extravagance. Bulawayo rate payers are in the midst of abject poverty and they cannot religiously pay their bills because of poverty. As a party, we cannot therefore seen to be supporting this madness," said Chirowodza.

The MDC Alliance spokesperson explained that Alliance councilors were outnumbered by Mwonzora's councllors when the resolution to build Mguni a mansion was passed.

"I think you all know that following the recalling of our eight councilors by Mwonzora last year, we are now left with only five councilors. Those remaining councilors tried to resist this antipeople's resolution but alas they were outnumbered," said Chirowodza.

Following the controversial recalling of its eight councilors last year, the Alliance is now left with only five councilors.

The Douglas Mwonzora-led MDC-T currently has 14 councilors while Zanu-PF has only one councilor.

The five MDC Alliance councilors who reportedly voted against the allocation of  Mguni a deluxe house are  ward 24 councillor, Arnold Batirai, Joyce Ndlovu ward two,  Tawanda Ruzive, Felix Mhaka and ward 17 councilor Sikhululekile Moyo.

When reached for comment Batirai confirmed that the five councilors voted against the resolution.

"I am not sure about the resolution which you are referring to but what I can say with certainty is that as MDC Alliance councilors under the leadership of Advocate Nelson Chamisa we would like to make it categorically clear that we are against the allocation of a mayor a house when we have serious service delivery issues in the city. Unfortunately the construction of the house has come at a time when most local authorities have turned their former mayoral mansions into money spinning entities," said Batirai.

The minister of Local Government July Moyo last month blocked Mguni's move to fire Batirai over frivolous charges.

Mguni unsuccessfully tried to fire the councilor claiming that he was convicted of violating the Electoral Act.

Source - newzimbabwe