Gweru celebrations on hold

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(File Photo) GWERU City Council

THE Gweru City Council has failed to celebrate 100 years of the city’s existence as a municipality amid reports workers resisted the move citing the local authority’s failure to pay them outstanding salaries.

STEPHEN CHADENGA
OWN CORRESPONDENT

Gweru attained municipal status in 1914 and city fathers had lined up various activities for the commemorations, including music, art and sport, among other activities.

The centenary celebrations had been scheduled to run from July 17 up to December, but not a single public activity has been held to date.

A council source said the celebrations had been shelved because of cashflow problems.

“We could not carry on with the activities because our revenue inflows are quite bad. Workers were not happy with the celebrations at a time council has a salary backlog,” the source said.

In June and July, cluster groups were meeting as the centenary celebrations hype gathered momentum, but that excitement has since died down.

Asked to comment about the stillborn celebrations, Gweru mayor Hamutendi Kombayi referred Southern Eye to the chairperson of the centenary celebrations steering committee and Ward 4 councillor Kenneth Sithole.

“Talk to councillor Sithole. He is in a position to know better,” Kombayi said.

Sithole said they expected to hold the celebrations on September 27 and preparations were still in progress although on a low note.

“Yes, council is facing financial problems and we have decided on less expensive commemorations. The various committees will be meeting and we have managed to put something in place, including banners and other items,” Sithole said.

He said despite challenges, they would not completely shelve the celebrations as the centenary marked a milestone in the history of Gweru.