The Sunday News
Judith Phiri, Sunday News Reporter
A UNITED Kingdom-based Zimbabwean businessman has partnered with a local company, Beautiful Bulawayo Trust for the twinning of Bulawayo with other cities in the UK and around the globe in a bid to develop the city and improve on service delivery.
The project is also spearheaded by Gifted4Good, an international business ambassador for the City of Nottingham in England and chairperson of Equality and Fairness Commission which has partnered with Beautiful Bulawayo Trust founding trustee, Mr Darlington Nyika to develop the city.
In an interview, Gifted4Good chief executive Mr Trusty Simbarashe Gushure said he was working on twinning Bulawayo, his city of birth, with other cities as part of a project he brainstormed after he initiated the agreement made between the City of Harare and Nottingham City in England in 2016.
“I am working on twinning Bulawayo with other cities around the globe so that they can improve service delivery and improve sustainability in terms of how the city council runs itself. Because of my love for Zimbabwe I also managed to twin Harare and Nottingham so that there can be service delivery and the city can become sustainable but this has been on ice over the sanctions issue,” said Mr Gushure.
He added that working with Beautiful Bulawayo Trust would ensure that they come up with strategic plans.
“I have partnered with them as strategic partners so that we are able to revive the city and move it to world status that is bringing in innovations and strategies which can make resources come to Bulawayo and make sure that the citizens in the city are known and remembered. We will engage the Mayor of Bulawayo and make sure that we twin Bulawayo with other local authorities in the diaspora,” he said.
Mr Nyika said his organisation, a destination-marketing initiative, would work with different stakeholders to revive Bulawayo.
“Yes, we are currently working with Mr Gushure to look at how best we can ground initiatives and target specific sectors which have a knock on effect on other downstream sectors. Our aim is that we reignite a global city like New York where people can fly in and out primarily for business and by close of day they go back to their respective destinations. This is the kind of vision we have for Bulawayo as we work towards establishing a middle economy by 2030,” said Mr Nyika.
A letter from the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Cde July Moyo seen by Sunday News acknowledged efforts to improve service delivery by tapping from other cities.
“Mr Gushure is an international business ambassador for the City of Nottingham and chairman of Equity Fairness Commission in England. Among the issues of economic co-operation discussed with him, topical was the development of relations through twinning with various cities,” said Cde Moyo.
He said twinning of cities was a step in the right direction and would held to improve service delivery.
“Pursuant to a meeting held at my office with Mr Trusty S Gushure, he expressed a keen interest in working with various local authorities to bring awareness to them regarding the benefits of twinning with other local authorities in other countries. I am receptive to his initiative to hold seminars so as to bring awareness of the benefits of twinning. It is my desire that you will give him all the support he needs,” he said.
Most local authorities are struggling to address service delivery challenges because of limited budgets and ratepayers’ delinquency, among other issues.