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    Sunday, 29 April 2018

    Masvingo City Town Clerk retiring




    NKULUMANI MLAMBO

    MASVINGO- Adolf Gusha, one of the longest serving local authority administrators is calling it a day after 36 long years.
    Gusha who has been at the helm of the country's oldest city for the last 15 years from 2003 as Town Clerk is retiring in August this year after reaching age 60.
    He looks back with a sense of contentment over what he has achieved for Masvingo, he told The Mirror Editor in an exclusive interview last week.
    "I will be leaving the employ of the Council at the end of August this year and go into full time goat farming, consultancy and property management," said the soft spoken Gusha.
    Gusha has won an avalanche of local and international awards for the City. He has twined Masvingo with towns in other African countries and overseas and prominent examples being Kernen of Germany and Middleborough in the UK.
    Gusha can claim credit to most developments in the City post-independence having joined Masvingo 31 years ago in 1987 as a deputy director Housing and Community Services culminating in his appointment as town clerk in 2004. In 2003, he was the acting Town Clerk.
    He has seen the City develop in areas of housing, infrastructure, town status, service provision and the commercial sector.
    Masvingo was given the City status in 2002, a development that comes with certain required achievements. The City managed to absorb a phenomenal population growth from 33 000 in 1987 to over 100 000 in 2018.
    There has been phenomenal growth in housing, some of the new suburbs are well catered for in terms of services while there are others like Victoria Range which he may not be so happy to be associated with.
    The new suburbs that emerged during his time at the City Council include Rujeko, Zimre Park, Mucheke West, Runyararo, Victoria Range, KMP and Clipsham Views.
    He must be proud of these as they have been fully serviced. In particular he must be looking forward to the emergence of Clipsham Low Density Suburb which has been serviced at a total cost of $6.6million by the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe. Clipsham which is an upmarket suburb perched on and below a hill is bound to give Masvingo its most scenic settlement.
    Although he may not say it publicly, one frustrating episode of his tenure must have been the emergence of haphazard and unplanned suburbs run by party activists which have no roads, no water, no power and no drainage systems creating not only an eyesore for the town but a ticking health time bomb.
    Many say that Gusha has in private conversations expressed frustration with the settlements.
    On the industrial front, Mavingo saw a total deindustrialisation in the last 18 years mainly due to the general economic downturn experienced by the country at the turn of the century. However, in terms of commerce, there was significant boom where supermarkets like Pick n Pay, N Richards and Ok have expanded after getting land from the local authority; high rise buildings like the Zimre Building and Nyaradzo Group offices near the railway line were also constructed.
     
    There is an 18-hole golf course built near the Provincial Hospital in the leafy suburb of Rhodene. It has made the City beautiful.
    The City has allowed education services to expand with Great Zimbabwe University and the Reformed Church University constructing multi-campuses in the city. Student population has been rising to nearly 20 000. 
    It is however, Gusha's diplomatic legerdemain that may outshine all his achievements at council. He ran a local authority that was frequently divided into two by councillors from Zimbabwe's two main political parties, Zanu PF and MDC T.
    Many councils throughout the country have suffocated under such political fights and councillors and mayors from the MDC T have been shown the door by the responsible Cabinet Ministers before the end of their terms. This kind of turbulence has not happened at Masvingo City and by and large, the councillors have always been a team.
     "Since we started having two parties in the council we have managed to persuade them to leave their political differences outside in order to serve the electorate.
    "The councillors have been voting for resolutions not on party lines, in fact most of the decisions do not go to vote as they agree unanimously as long as the idea is good.
    "We have taken aboard our residents on a number of projects and some of those that were suggested by the residents include the sewer levy. We introduced a sewer levy which they gladly accepted because they understood the essence of the project just like the Bushmead Water works expansion," said Gusha.
    Gusha has had his bad patches; the labour dispute which has raged on in the courts for the past eight years in which workers are demanding US$3,5m unpaid salary increments must be one of them.
    This dispute which from the look of things was not properly handled saw council losing hundreds of thousands worth of property and in particular service vehicles and road maintenance equipment to the messenger of court , On the lengthy labour dispute between the workers and City Council which has seen all Council vehicles being attached in 2012 paralysing its o`perations Gusha said he has not much to say as the matter was still before the courts but he believes there is a political hand behind.
    Gusha is the second born in a family of six from Gusha Village under Chief Chagwiza in Gutu. He went to St Mary Primary in Gutu and did Grade 7 at Bondolfi Mission and went to Gokomere from Form 1 to Form 4 then proceeded to Goromonzi for his A levels.
    From 1980 to 1982 he was at the UZ doing Politics and Administration.
    Soon after college he joined Shurugwi Distrct Council as an executive officer responsible for administration until 1986 when he joined the Ministry of Local Government in the Provincial Administrator's office in the Midlands as and admin officer.
    He joined Masvingo City Council in 1987 as deputy director Housing and Community Services until 1991 when he made a lateral transfer to be the deputy town clerk a post that was later abolished by the Ministry.
    In 1996 he was promoted to the post of Chamber Secretary a new post in the Council until 2003 when he became the acting Town Clerk when Tsunga Mhangami left Council.
    In 2004 he was appointed substantive Town Clerk.
    Gusha is married and the couple has two girls and a boy and two grandchildren.
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