Gweru fails to rent out mansion for $3 000

Jason Machaya

Gweru City Council plans to lease out the mayoral mansion have hit a brickwall as potential tenants feel the $3 000 rentals are too steep.

BY Stephen Chadenga

The residence does not have running water and this has made it even more unattractive, council reports show.

According to minutes of council’s environment committee meeting held on February 3, the value of the building was depreciating yet the local authority is not getting any income from it.

The residence was last used by the city’s executive mayor Sesel Zvidzai whose term ended in 2008.

“Efforts to lease the house to corporate organisations did not bear fruit since the facility found no takers as the corporates felt that the $3 000 monthly rentals were too high and the facility has no water,” part of the council report reads.

Gweru mayor Hamutendi Kombayi recently complained that the building had become a white elephant.

Finance committee chairperson councillor Albert Chirau suggested that a borehole should be drilled at the property to make it attractive.

According to the council report, a number of individuals and organisations wanted to turn the mansion into a lodge, school or offices, but were put off by exorbitant rentals.

Some companies such as Unki Mine and Sino Zimbabwe unsuccessfully tried to lease the property for their managers.

Midlands Provincial Affairs minister Jason Machaya tried to buy the house, but his offer was turned down by council.