Harare converts mayoral mansion into offices

HARARE - Harare House that has been lying idle for more than a decade has been converted to council offices.

Harare City Council spokesperson Leslie Gwindi said Harare House is now housing the Harare Sunshine Holdings, a business arm of council.

“Harare House (formerly Harare Mayoral Mansion) is now used as council offices, conference centre, reception facility and accommodation for city visitors”

“The new use of the property is in part a cost cutting measure. This means the city is now saving money as it no longer pays money to host civic functions in hotels,” Gwindi said.

He also indicated that visiting delegates like those from Harare’s twin sisters would be accommodated at the mansion.

Gwindi highlighted that the conference and reception facilities will also be open to outside hiring for events related purposes.

Combined Harare Residents Association (Chra) chairman Simba Moyo said the move by council to convert the use for purposes of revenue collection is to some extent a good one.

He however, quickly cited that when there are still people like Town Clerk Tendai Mahachi in the city hierarchy, there will be no immediate benefits to the people.

“As residents we remain sceptical of this move by council. However, we strongly believe the move will not benefit residents in any way as most of the generated income will be gobbled by salaries and allowances,” Moyo said.

The mansion has a vast expanse of expensive curtains and furniture, with a luxurious bar, carpeted from wall to wall with imported Persian rugs.

The unoccupied manor consists of a main house with six bedrooms on the first floor, an exotic mayor’s suite on the ground floor, a spacious functions area, a ladies powder room, an industrial kitchen, family kitchen, two huge lounges, dining room, large cloakroom and several lobbies.

The mayoral mansion was built by former Harare mayor Solomon Tavengwa, for an estimated Z$50 million despite strong public disapproval.

Comments (1)

This is commendable of City of Harare. We hope this is the first of many steps to put things right in our beloved city.

Peacemaker - 3 March 2014

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