Magaya loses ChiTown master plan deal 

Source: Magaya loses ChiTown master plan deal –Newsday Zimbabwe

The cash-strapped council was struggling to fund the master plan over the years prompting Wistmer Investments, a company owned by clergyman Walter Magaya to offer to chip in.

CHITUNGWIZA Municipality has terminated a dubious master plan deal involving Wistmer Investments and has resolved to fund the process on its own.

The cash-strapped council was struggling to fund the master plan over the years prompting Wistmer Investments, a company owned by clergyman Walter Magaya to offer to chip in.

However, the move divided councillors, council officials and residents thereby derailing the crafting of the development blueprint.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa in February ordered all 92 local authorities to come up with master plans by the end of June in a move meant to curb the sprouting of haphazard settlements.

Chitungwiza Municipality is among a handful of councils that have been racing against time to meet the June 30 deadline for the submission of master plans.

On Saturday, the local authority convened a special council meeting where it resolved to terminate the Wistmer Investments deal.

“Council resolved to rescind the resolution of the Wistmer donation of the master plan,” a source said.

“This fall out was caused by false promises from the donor. Council has since resolved to go it alone.”

The controversial deal between Chitungwiza Municipality and Wistmer Investments would have seen the private firm funding the crafting of the master plan “with certain conditions.”

The source said council resolved that it would engage the contractor who initially won the master plan bid at a reviewed cost of US$180 000.

This publication established that the previous council had inflated the costs of the master plan to US$600 000.

A source said there was a likelihood that a company owned by Zanu PF politburo member Daniel Mckenzie Ncube had been engaged as a consultant to lead the crafting of the master plan.

However, Chitungwiza Residents Trust director Alice Kuvheya has said council must follow due process.

“We only hear there is a Mckenzie Ncube coming, but we don’t want a situation where council handpicks people like what happened with Wistmer,” she said.

Reports say Chitungwiza Municipality was thrown a lifeline after government allowed it to work on the development blueprint up to the end of August.

Chitungwiza Municipality spokesperson Tafadzwa Kachiko confirmed that the position was reached during a special council meeting on the master plan on Saturday.

“We are going to further engage a consultant Ncube Burrow (Pvt) Ltd for the process,” he said.

“It still remains that we are not able to meet the deadline.

“We, therefore, applied for extension of the deadline and we are awaiting response from government.

“However, we submitted the necessary steps we have taken so far.

“We completed the inception report and we have already started to study our planning area.”

Kachiko confirmed that council negotiated for the cost of the master plan to be reduced from US$600 000 to US$180 000.

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