GWERU City Council owes the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) $11 000 in rental fee arrears for two years, amid fears the Midlands capital might fail to participate at this year’s business showcase, a senior council official has said.
BY STEPHEN CHADENGA
Town clerk Elizabeth Gwatipedza said in addition to the outstanding rentals, council required a minimum of $40 000, including repairs at its exhibition stand, if it was to attend the annual business extravaganza.
The 58th edition of this year’s ZITF runs from April 25 to 29 in Bulawayo under the theme Harnessing Linkages for Industrial Development.
“Gweru City Council did not pay $11 000 rental fees for two years and that outstanding amount has to be settled,” Gwatipedza told a full council meeting on Wednesday.
“Moreover, if council is to exhibit at this year’s ZITF edition, a minimum of $40 000 is required.”
Gwatipedza said the local authority’s stand was in a dilapidated state and needed between $8 000 and $15 000 to be rehabilitated.
Meanwhile, management and councillors had contradicting resolutions for participation at this year’s ZITF, with the former taking a position that council could not participate because of financial constraints, while councillors argued it was necessary to be at the fair to lure investors for the city.
“It’s not just an issue of attending, but we should do research on what we are going to offer at the trade fair,” ward 2 councillor Tiripayi Chipondeni (Zanu PF) said.
Mayor Charles Chikozho said council now had a new leadership that should work together to weigh the benefits of taking part or not at the ZITF.