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Egodini Project: More harm than good

10 May 2021 at 12:02hrs | Views
Awarded a rousing reception in 2017 by the City of Kings, the Egodini project headed by Terracotta Trading Private Limited produced a royal city befitting pitch which was well backed by the then Acting director of engineering services in charge of town planning, Mr Wisdom Siziba who was the project director.

The project's vision according to Siziba was to create and uplift the legacy of Bulawayo by providing retail, commercial and entertainment experience, job creation of over 4000 local citizens in a collapsing economy and build the remarkable monumental Inkosi ULobhengula Remembrance Garden. According to Thulani Moyo the director of Terracota as quoted on a YouTube video, the project was supposed to be completed in 3 years, with the first phase set to have been completed in 2019. With the final stages set to have been completed before the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country in March 2020, but next to little has been done so far. In the video which features majority of foreign owned and based companies that won tenders to this project, Floyd Feshete of FIJ Engineering made it clear that the prevailing economic factors and situations such as water shedding and power outages weren't a factor limiting them from delivering in time as he cited that they will drill boreholes for onsite storage tanks and have solid waste collected by municipal trucks and have green solutions energy such as solar in order to reach their deadline which was last year!.

The City Fathers saw the destruction of the dilapidating famous Egodini Taxi Rank for the project as an asset in the sense that the project is on a build and operate-transfer basis and would come at no cost to the council. Terracotta, through their director Mr Thulani Moyo had mentioned challenges they are facing towards the commencement of the project such as technical aspects such as architectural and engineering given the topographical make of the structure and their concern for self-employed operators and vendors who relied on Egodini Taxi Rank as their means of income and hence had promised urgency in the construction.

However, 4 years after, the people of Bulawayo, The City of Kings, have endured and witnessed horror as this beacon of KwaMthwakazi hasn't shone yet. Before the almighty monopoly ZUPCO took over, private operators were shifted to 6th street which is the exit from the CBD onto Luveve road, which leads to the gems of the City of Kings, Barbourfields Stadium and Luveve Stadium, not to mention Vic Falls road which connects to Zambia, one of the country's biggest trading nations. For the past 4 years getting out of town via Luveve road has been a hurdle. Besides the congestion, cars have been mowing down people on the unorganized setup on an almost daily basis, and crime is rifer as ever as commuters scramble for private transport as the monopoly can't sustain the city.

One commuter who chose to remain anonymous called on the City fathers to either reconsider the hired privately owned companies and approach ZIMASSETS or relevant authorities for funding and complete the project. Another commuter shared the sentiment that the same act is linked with destroying the city's monumental places or establishments. She claims this is an act of "opposing forces" that are seeking to destroy the ZESA plant that holds the essence of "Kontuth'zyathunqa".

Source - Thabiso Nxumalo
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