Council Roasts Masvingo City Managers Over Cloudy GZU Land Deal

By Johannes Chin’ombe

Masvingo, September 02, 2016 – Masvingo councillors have taken the city management to task for allowing the Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) to further expand its empire through constructing hostels at the university’s Mandava Campus without council resolution.

Questions were also posed to management on how the university had managed to construct the Great Zimbabwe School of Education which is currently under construction and the Julius Nyerere School of Social Sciences in the industrial area without a notable application for change of use.

Since Rungano Jonasi Zvobgo took over as the university’s pro-vice chancellor in 2012, GZU has engaged in an extensive acquisition of properties all over the city and has also become the city’s biggest employer.

Speaking during the full council meeting, Ward 4 councillor, Godfrey Kurauone asked management on why management went on to give the University land without a council resolution.

“I want to ask your worship who gave GZU the land from which they are pitching structures at their Mandava campus. Shouldn’t we be made aware of such developments as council because now we have a challenge with residents who ask how this land was allocated and we fail to give answers,” the youthful councillor asked.

Added Ward 9 councillor, Lovemore Mufamba, “It is true your worship. We actually look foolish in the community we live in especially when we fail to respond to questions we are directly linked to. Doing things without letting us know compromises our accountability as most residents have been long seeking land to build their own homes to no avail.”

In response, the town clerk, Adolf Gusha explained that it was council mandate to donate land to productive institutions meant to foster development to the city.

“Am sorry for the miscommunication but it’s true that council donated land to the university. It is actually council obligation to donate towards development so it’s simply what we did to GZU. Another example of a similar development is that of the National University of Science at Technology (NUST). When it was about to be constructed, council simply donated land,” Gusha said.

Masvingo City Council Health Director, Zvapano Munganasa interjected and said management knew about the development and further disclosed that they have land behind Masvingo Teacher’s College kept for the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe University (RCU) who have asked to build a medical school.

“What the town clerk is saying is true. I also want to add that we even have land reserved for the Reformed Church University who are willing to construct a medical school soon. We do so because if such structures are constructed, they advance the city’s image,” Munganasa said.

Councillors were however not content with responses from management and asked them to produce minutes that resolved that the land was donated in the next full council meeting.

Councillors also took management to task, asking it to provide minutes that approved change of use of industrial buildings being converted into classrooms by the university.