Gweru set to lease mayoral mansion

ABOUT three companies have expressed interest in renting Gweru City Council’s mayoral mansion, which had become a white elephant, town clerk Ms Elizabeth Gwatipedza has said.

In an interview yesterday, Ms Gwatipedza said the mansion was now being evaluated to ascertain its true value before the winner of the bid is announced in due course.

“We have received expressions of interest for the mayoral mansion and we have about three companies that want (to rent) the mansion,” she said. “So, we are now doing technical and financial evaluation and this stage needs to be done and a decision will be made on those who responded to the call for expressions of interest.”

Ms Gwatipedza said council was expecting to collect significant revenue from the mansion and boost cash inflows.

Acting finance director Mr Owen Masimba was recently quoted as saying council would engage a private partner to convert the 20-roomed mansion, which has become a white elephant, into a money-spinning venture.

“As part of our planned capital projects for this year, we intend to enter into a joint venture with a potential partner to turn the mayoral mansion into an accommodation and events centre,” he said.

“We have set aside a budget of $300 000 to renovate the mansion, and we have since flighted an advert for expressions of interest for the project. We should be able to hire out the mansion so that it can bring revenue to council.”

The council made the resolution to hire out the mansion four years ago.

The project stalled after Ms Gwatipedza proposed to use it as her residence, a move that was resisted by residents.