Caledonia to become independent: Kasukuwere

HARARE - Caledonia may soon be an independent township that is neither under Mashonaland East nor Harare, Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere has said.

Kasukuwere said this while answering questions in the Senate on Thursday. Movement for Democratic Change senator for Manicaland David Chimhini had asked which province the settlement fell under and when proper service delivery could be restored.

“Caledonia lies in Zimbabwe but I agree with you, part of it is in Harare and the other part is in Mashonaland East, Goromonzi.  It was brought into Harare through a presidential proclamation and this is why we have had challenges in terms of its administration.

“However, we are working very hard now. I visited Caledonia just a few days ago.  It is a sprawling suburb with almost over 100 000 households lacking in terms of basics such as water and infrastructure.

“We are also looking at how best we can bring Caledonia under a kind of township. I have tasked our lawyers in the ministry to see how best we can integrate the portions of Harare and Goromonzi and create some form of authority, area committees’ per-se, which can then work at least to listen to the residents from the 21 blocks that have been resettled right now,” Kasukuwere said.

He said developments such as construction of roads and bridges are progressing well under the guidance of the Urban Development Corporation (Urdcorp).

Caledonia Management Committee chairperson Percy Toriro said surveying of the area cost $4 million, construction of a 4,2 kilometre stretch of road cost $1,9 million while the layout plans incurred an additional cost of over $100 000.

Toriro said at the current rate of payments, complete development of Caledonia could take between five and eight years.

“If everyone paid the $50 monthly fee, there could be a potential of collecting over $1 million every month. 35 cooperatives have never paid anything since 2015. There are still a lot of things to do in Caledonia, however, development is only commensurate with what people pay,” he said.

Caledonia — which now falls under the management of Harare City Council (HCC) — has over 29 195 stands, a population larger than Bindura.

The suburb has been ravaged by massive land scams and fraud amounting to more than $60 million.

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