MUTARE’S Sakubva Urban Renewal has been identified amongst pacesetters in the country’s devolution agenda which seeks to empower provincial and local councils to spearhead economic and social developmental projects in their respective areas.
The project will see the construction of high rise flats, revamping of the Sakubva Flea Market, Sakubva Bus Terminus, Sakubva Stadium, Sakubva Beithall and Sakubva Vegetable Market.
In a virtual address to Zimpapers’ editors on Wednesday, Local Government and Public Works Minister, July Moyo said the importance of local communities’ participation in the determination of developmental priorities within their areas can never be overemphasised as noone knows their needs more than they do.
He also highlighted that devolution was adopted as a key component of the new Constitution in 2013, with Section 14 of the supreme law of the land devolving power and responsibilities to lower tiers of Government.
In this spirit, the Mutare City Council, working closely with the provincial and national leadership, recently embarked on the ambitious Sakubva Urban Renewal Project.
The project’s sites were fenced off a fortnight ago and construction equipment has since been positioned as investors prepare to commence work.
The scheme, which seeks to upgrade Mutare into a smart city in line with Vision 2030, is expected to be completed within eight months.
Said Minister Moyo: “We cannot talk about Vision 2030 when we still have dilapidated areas like Sakubva, Mbare, or Makokoba, hence these upgrades.”
He applauded the interaction between the three tiers of Government in ensuring the speedy implementation of the project.
“Mutare has taken that mantle. The local authority there is running with provincial and Central Government support in the urban renewal of Sakubva. It is also working with the private sector.
“If you look at the interaction between the three layers of Government and the private sector — the financial as well as the manufacturing sector — the model that is emerging in the Urban Renewal Project is impressive,” said Minister Moyo.
The project will have far reaching social and economic benefits as it will upgrade the quality of life for Sakubva residents while enhancing the province’s Gross Domestic Product through widening investment opportunities for locals.
Civil works of the project will be funded by the City of Mutare, which will secure borrowing powers or bonds from the Government through the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works as well as the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.
BancABC is also bankrolling the project.
The Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba, is on record reiterating that resources to be used in the project, including human resources, will be sourced locally.
In 2019, Government allocated $703 million towards devolution projects that saw roads, clinics and schools being renovated, while new ones were constructed.
This year, the figure has been revised to $2,9 billion.
Strict measures have been put in place to guard against abuse of these funds.
Sakubva was constructed in 1925 and most of the suburb’s century-old houses are now in a poor state. The project will see the demolition of the dilapidated houses and the modernisation of the old and run-down suburb.