The Midlands State University is working on establishing a partnership with the Gweru City Council which will enable the local authority to improve its service delivery in the city.
This was revealed by the Pro-Vice Chancellor Business Development and Administration, Professor Kadmiel Wekwete, while addressing delegates who attended the 2018 budget review meeting at the Main Campus in Gweru.
Under the arrangement, the university will provide critical knowledge, services and innovations which will enable the local authority to up its game in service delivery. The council on the other hand will be the platform for students on Work Related Learning to learn and gain practical experience in managing City Council business in a manner that will make it a source of pride for the residents.
Professor Wekwete highlighted that the institution is interested in the budget as it reflects how resources are allocated in areas that are critical to its operations.
“We are interested in resources for services such as health, education and housing. This is very critical because whether you are staff or student you will need to be housed somewhere, so we would like to reflect on the budget to see how much it covers some of those important areas. We are also interested in recreation. MSU is one of the premier institutions when it comes to sport. We even have a football club and our teams excel at regional and international level so we want to know how much resources are allocated to sports and recreation because these are very important aspects to us,” he said.
Gweru Mayor, His Worship, Councillor Josiah Makombe confirmed that local authority has not been able to meet its obligations due to financial constraints.
“Revenue mobilisation has been very low therefore affecting our efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery. Water and sewer infrastructure has outlived its lifespan. The infrastructure was commissioned in the 1950s. Of particular mention is the Gwenoro Water Treatment Plant, our major treatment plant which was built in 1958 and still using the same facility,” he explained.
The meeting was aimed at reviewing the budget and also getting feedback from the residents for the period beginning 1st January 2018 to 31st August 2018. It was also meant to enable the students and staff to have an appreciation of the operational challenges faced by the local authority. Gweru is home to over 200 000 residents who include students from the Midlands State University.