Residents demand mayor to occupy mansion

By William Milasi

Kwekwe Mayor Angeline Kasipo is yet to move into the mayoral mansion nearly a year after being elected to the city’s influential position and residents are now growing impatient and demanding that the mayor must occupy the mansion.

The first female to occupy the high pressure position in Midlands’ second provincial capital Kasipo in an interview confirmed that she is yet to occupy the mansion.

The mansion is in Kwekwe’s leafy suburbs of Hillandale.

“It is true I am yet to move into the mayoral mansion as there are still some issues which need to be sorted out,” Kasipo said without elaborating.

This is despite the fact that former mayor Matenda Madzoke is believed to have already moved out of the mansion.

Acting Town Clerk Lucia Mkandla contacted for comment said she was out of office.

Kasipo’s predecessor Matenda Madzoke only moved into the mansion in late 2016 a year to the end of his term.

The mansion was then last occupied in 2013 by then former Mayor Stanford Bonyongwa, who had refused to vacate the premises following his departure from council in 2013.

Bonyongwa claimed that the mansion in as part of his exit package.

He then only moved out of the Hillandale mansion in 2013 after the local authority allowed him to buy another council property in Newton at half its market value.

The then mayor and current Kwekwe Deputy Mayor Shadreck Tobaiwa and his team had initially refused to sell the house saying it was against council policy.

But council later reneged and resolved at its December 4, 2012 special council meeting to sell the New town House, valued at $92 00, to Bonyongwa ay half the price.

Then local government Minister Saviuor Kasukuwere in 2016 gave the green light 

to the occupancy of the mansion eight years after it was occupied by Bonyongwa.

Kwekwe City had then turned the mansion into a guest house.

“There is a resolution for the mayor to move into the mansion. However, it all depends on the knowledge of the new councillors at Town House about the resolution. What should happen is that management must first inspect the house and report to council.

“After that report another resolution is made whether to refurbish the house,” former councillor Aldermen Aaron Gwalazimba said.

Residents have also indicated that the mayor must move into the mansion as it is the rate payers monies which is supposed to maintain the place.

Secretary General of Kwekwe Residents and Rate Payers Association (KRRA) Alex Homela said it also took a very long time for the former mayor to occupy the mansion and the situation must be rectified.

“The mayor must occupy the mansion as it is the rate payers who are paying towards maintenance of the place. We don’t expect the house to lose value because it is not being occupied. We expected that after her election to the top post the mayor was going to occupy the mansion. It took years for the former mayor to occupy the place and we don’t expect that to happen again,” Homela said.

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