Walter Mswazie in MASVINGO
THE cash strapped Masvingo City Council has literally surrendered the construction of the long awaited Rujeko Secondary School to interested contractors, five years after the idea was mooted, H-Metro can reveal.
Sometime in 2009, the local authority’s full council meeting resolved that there be a council secondary school in Rujeko suburb citing the growing population within the location which has two primary schools Rujeko and Shakashe.
The city fathers said another secondary school was going to ease pressure from the overpopulated Ndaramba High School in Target Kopje, Mucheke High, Christian College in Mucheke Suburb and Victoria High School in Rhodene.
Ward 8 Councillor Babylon Beta who is also finance and general purpose committee chairman said the need for a new secondary school needed no emphasis but council realised that it was going to be too expensive to construct a school, hence opening the project to outside bidders.
“We had plans to construct a secondary school in Rujeko as council but we were found wanting as the money needed to do the project was beyond our reach. The costs for the projects range from US$500 00 to US$1,5 million given the new models for school,” said Clr Beta.
He said the project was now open for bidding and a tender advertisement would be made in the local papers soon inviting those with financial muscle to do the project.
“We will advertise the tender in local papers, as we have realised that we can spend a long time before starting the construction due to incapacitation.
“We however, prefer church organisations to bid for the tenders, as we fear that if the project is undertaken by private companies, the school will have the potential to charge exorbitant fees.
“The main aim is to provide affordable education to residents’ children and not for the school to be a business venture. Churches have a moral duty that we are convinced that there won’t be rent seeking behaviour,” he said.
He said the land had long been identified for the school project and when the project gets a bidder, the contractor would be expected to start very soon adding that in three years the school is expected to be operational.