Smart cities the way to go-Pres Mnangagwa

Staff Reporter

Government is working on embracing the smart city concept and has availed funds for cities and towns to upgrade their infrastructure to meet the expected international standards.

A smart city is one that uses information communication technologies to improve operational efficiency, share information with the public and provide better quality of government service and citizen welfare.

Speaking in Gweru yesterday during the official opening of the Kudzanai Long Distance Bus Terminus, President Emmerson Mnangagwa commended the Gweru City Council for taking heed of his advice to renovate and refurbish the bus terminus and vending markets to meet international standards.

“This is the future of embracing the smart city concept and well done to Gweru City Council. They took heed of my administration’s resolution instructing all local authorities to take advantage of the COVID-19-induced lockdown to decongest, renovate and refurbish market places throughout the country,” said the President.

The President added that modern and relevant infrastructure was an essential requirement for increased production, productivity and economic competitiveness. He added that the refurbishment of the Kudzanai Bus Terminus has boosted the revenue collected by Gweru City Council by 155 percent.

President Mnangagwa further said that government had availed devolution funds to push the development agenda in local authorities throughout the country.

“My administration has availed devolution funds and the allocation of these devolution funds has doubled from this year. This year, the allocated devolution funds were ZWL$19 billion and it has now doubled to ZWL$43 billion for next year. In utilising these resources, local authorities are urged to focus on transport infrastructure, education, health electricity and social amenities as well as water and sanitation,” said the President.

The President urged local authorities to ensure timely use of the devolution funds and warned that those who were not using their allocated funds will lose the money, as it will be taken back to Treasury.

The commissioned Kudzanai Bus Terminus has a capacity to house 800 sellers and 400 buses. Waiting rooms have also been completed at the long distance bus terminus. The bus terminus was refurbished to meet international standards by a private contractor, Bentach Private Limited, in partnership with the Gweru City Council.