By Locadia Mavhudzi
Cash-strapped Gweru City Council is now renting a house for town clerk Ms Elizabeth Gwatipedza in Southview Extension at a cost of $500 a month, while the mayoral mansion is vacant.
Gweru Mayor Councillor Charles Chikozho confirmed the development saying alternative accommodation has been secured for the town clerk since the city has no official residence.
Since her appointment in December 2016, Ms Gwatipedza has been commuting daily to Gweru from Redcliff, nearly 50km away, due to council’s inability to find suitable accommodation for her.
Before her appointment to the top post in Gweru, Ms Gwatipedza was Redcliff town secretary.
The MDC-T led council allegedly ignored a resolution for Ms Gwatipedza to occupy the 20-roomed mayoral mansion which has been vacant since 2008 when the then executive mayor moved out.
“We are now renting a house for the town clerk in Southview Extension at a cost of $500 per month. As you know our town clerk Ms Elizabeth Gwatipedza has for long been commuting from Redcliff where she was working before she joined our city,” he said.
Clr Chikozho said contrary to earlier reports in the media, council was renting the house and had not purchased it.
“We didn’t buy the house for her, we are renting it from an individual,” said Clr Chikozho.
Recently, Clr Chikozho said council was sticking to its 2015 resolution to convert the mayoral mansion into a lodge to boost revenues.
“There were two resolutions with regard to the mayoral mansion, one being to turn it into a guest lodge and the other to allocate it to the town clerk,” he said.
“However, we are sticking with the resolution to turn the mayor’s house into a guest lodge to boost council revenue.”