FRANCISTOWN — Francistown mayor Sylvia Muzila has urged Bulawayo City Council to speed up a twinning arrangement between the two cities in order to boost their economy through shared investments.
Speaking at a dinner hosted for a visiting delegation from Bulawayo recently, Muzila said tthrough twining, massive investments could be done to boost the economy of both cities.
She said a twining agreement with Bulawayo would bolster Francistown’s Vision 2022 project aimed at turning the city into an investment hub.
“We want our city by 2022 to be the city of choice that is why we are busy face-lifting it through the interchange that will take place very soon and Tonota-Francistown road, which is almost complete.
“All of this we cannot achieve alone as Francistown hence calling for your partnership,” she said.
Muzila implored the visitors to become partners and investors on yet another vision of the city ‘Francistown Investment Forum’ (FIF), saying this would go a long way in boosting the economies of both cities as well as promoting and empowering human capital.
She said this could be achieved through twinning and also Francistown could copy and benchmark on how things were done in Bulawayo.
“I believe in Bulawayo there is a place called Mzilikazi where women empower themselves through pottery and other art work and our women here can learn one or two things from that,” she said.
Muzila said she was impressed by how organised the flea markets were in Bulawayo when she visited earlier this year, noting that people with different merchandise met in one place to sell their products.
The mayor said Francistown generated its income through the revenue base rates and service levy but the systems were not adequate in meeting development needs of the city.
She requested for relevant officers from Bulawayo who can teach their Francistown counterparts on how to manage the systems.
Bulawayo deputy mayor Gift Banda said he was impressed by how Francistown had developed.
Banda said twinning was essential because there was no country that can develop without partnerships with other countries to sustain its economy.
“We are looking forward to partnering with Francistown where we can, as much as we expect the city to partner with us,” he said.
“We are also impressed by the way the government of Botswana is taking care of its people through human empowerment programmes such as Ipelegeng and poverty eradication projects.”
Banda commended Francistown for striving to change its image, saying the city would be an investment hub and a holiday destination of choice.