Epworth Member of Parliament, Zalerah Makari (ZANU PF), says they are planning to build a multi-million dollar town centre in the sprawling settlement and initiate other projects so that it will eventually attain town status.
Speaking to NewsDay Weekender, Makari also said they will “soon” build an operating theatre at the local hospital and upgrade the facility to a district hospital. She said:
We are now working on getting town status for Epworth and we are now planning to build a town centre.
Our hospital is going to be a district hospital, and soon, we will be building a theatre there.
We are also working on street lights, and we have increased the number of ZUPCO buses on the Epworth route.
We have also started a programme to pay fees for more than 1 000 underprivileged children in the area in partnership with some non-governmental organisations.
Epworth is highly informalised and infamous for the high number of sex workers in the area, with girls as young as 10 years being abused due to high poverty levels. Makari promised to meet them this month. She said:
In July, we will hold a meeting with vendors and sex workers to see how we can help them because Epworth has several sex workers.
It also has the biggest number of informal traders that need to be regularised.
Epworth is on the south-eastern side of Harare and most of the dwellings in the area were built haphazardly.
Makari said the settlement will be “cleaned” and houses built on places that are supposed to be roads will be demolished.
In the run-up to the 26 March by-elections, President Emmerson Mnangagwa promised to dish out tens of thousands of title deeds to Epworth residents.
However, critics dismissed the promise as mere politicking as this was the role of local authorities.