Mayor seeks city status for Vic Falls

HARARE - Victoria Falls is seeking city status, with a formal motion seeking city designation by the current mayor being put before Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere.

Victoria Falls mayor Sifiso Mpofu said city status was one of the town’s main priorities and there was no good reason why it should not be granted.

Mpofu spoke of the town’s rapid expansion as evidenced by rapid development of residential stands being bankrolled by CBZ, qualifying it for an upgrade.

The population of Victoria Falls was 33 660 at the last census.

Conferring city status on the town would have several advantages from a tourism point of view because people tend to go to cities.

The application for city status has won the approval of Kasukuwere, who has directed that in the coming weeks the municipality be assessed for recommendation for that status, according to last Friday’s Government Gazette.

Kasukuwere appointed a five- member commission to assess the local authority.

“Pursuant to the application for the city status by Victoria Falls Municipality, the minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, and has, in terms of section 14(3)(a) of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15), appointed the following members as a commission to assess the municipality’s state of readiness for city status,” read the notice in the Government Gazette.

The commission will be chaired by the ministry’s director of urban local authorities Nyasha Mudzinge and will comprise an engineer, a physical planner, financial advisor and an administrator.

The commission’s terms of reference would be guided by the Urban Council’s Act first schedule and will be accepting submissions for representations before October 20.

According to the local authority’s notice on intention to become a city, Victoria Falls will be made up of 11 wards.

The Victoria Falls Combined Residents Association said once the city has been granted city status, it may be able to take over the administration and supply of water from the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa).

Last year, Kasukuwere said government would create four new towns, three near Harare and one near Bulawayo.

He said the towns would see the construction of more than 150 000 housing units, with beneficiaries being drawn from the government and local authorities’ waiting lists.

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