Gweru City Council says it is planning to lease its Kudzanai bus toilets in a bid to boost revenue for the cash-strapped local authority which is failing to maintain them.

By Stephen Chadenga

Speaking at a recent council meeting, deputy mayor Cleopas Shiri said there was a recommendation that the toilets be rented out to private players.

“We have a recommendation that the toilets should be leased out to someone,” Shiri said.

“People who use them will have to pay something, that way we ensure the toilets are well kept.”

Ward 1 councillor Hamutendi Kombayi said council should speed up the process of leasing the public toilets as the local authority had failed to maintain them.

“Council should speed up the process to find a partner and lease out the toilets at Kudzanai,” he said.

“It doesn’t make sense to continue holding on to the toilets that are known for being filthy, posing a health hazard not only to travellers but to residents.”

In 2017 at a stakeholders meeting, residents said failure by council to clean the public toilets was forcing people to relieve themselves in sanitary lanes.

Gweru Residents and Ratepayers Association director Cornelia Selipiwe said there was need to consult shakeholders before implementing the decision.

“Look, that bus terminus is used by the majority most of whom are poor,” he said.

“So, to ask them to pay to relieve themselves would be a mammoth move. What criteria would be used to come up with the fee to use the toilets? That is why we have always insisted on council first engaging residents before making such decisions.”

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