By Brighton Chiseva
City of Masvingo has failed to build a secondary school in the high density suburb of Rujeko and is now set to put the land on sale to possible private buyers with capacity to do the work.
The city has made several false promises regarding plans to build a secondary school in the area, with candidates for the Ward 7 city council seat in many elections promising to deliver on the project.
Indications are that the secondary school project had been provided for in the 2019 council budget but the local authority failed to commence the project ‘due to financial challenges’.
Council has therefore decided to invite potential church organisations that may have the capacity to do the work.
It was resolved in the recent full council meeting that the housing director should advertise an institutional stand for the establishment of a secondary school in Rujeko.
Some councillors, however, argued that the land should not be sold but be given for free in return for council having some control of the school.
Ward 10 councillor Sengerayi Manyanga argued that if the land was to be sold, then the responsible school authority may then seek to charge high fees to recover the money used to buy the land.
“Let’s give the land for free so that we will be able to regulate the fees and other services. If they start charging similar amounts to what boarding schools charge, we would then be empowered to stop them,” said Manyanga.
Mayor Collen Maboke, however, said the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education will regulate the fees and everything else to suit the normal standards expected of a high density residential area school.
Housing and Community Services director Levison Nzvura said a lot had been taken into consideration before the decision was made.
“We considered that council need some money to operate and since the project is of community benefit, we decided to sell the land at half price to a church organisation,” said Nzvura.
However, many believe that council has diverted some of the money that was budgeted for the project as they hurriedly try to surface the Nyaradzo Road whose own budgeted funds they misappropriated.