Background and History
Goromonzi rural district council is one of the ten local authorities in Mashonaland East province. It was established in 1992 following the amalgamation of Bromley-Ruwa rural; Arcturus rural and Goromonzi-Kubatana district councils. It was established in terms of the Rural District Councils Act Chapter [29:13] and draws its mandate from the same Act and other principal and subsidiary legislation cited in the strategic plan.
Goromonzi rural district council is located in Mashonaland East province in north eastern Zimbabwe. It is shares its boundaries with Seke district to the south; Marondera district to the east; Murehwa district to the north east; Bindura district to the north and Shamva and Mazowe districts to the north-west. The district shares its entire western boundary with the capital city of Harare and its close proximity to the capital presents great opportunities for rapid growth in real estate; agro-industries; mining; manufacturing and related downstream industries.
Topography and Climate
Goromonzi district covers a total area of 254 072 square kilometres (25 407 200 hectares). The district is divided into 25 wards of which 13 (6;7;8;9;13;14;17;20;21;22;23;24;25); are commercial agricultural areas; 11(1;2;3;4;5;10;11;12;15;16;18) are communal areas; and 1(ward19) is small scale farming area. The district is endowed with fertile rich soils suitable for intensive and extensive agricultural production. Of the 25 407 200 hectares, 20 007 000 are arable. The planning area falls under Agro-Ecological Zones 1; 2A and 2B with an altitude of between 1 300m and 1 550m above sea level. Soils vary from predominantly pale sandy soils in areas such Chinamhora, Chikwaka, Rusike and Bromley. Deep red soils are found in the areas surrounding Arcturus town. The average temperature varies between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius. The two major seasons are summer(October-March) which is normally hot and wet and winter (April-September), which is normally cold and dry. The average annual rainfall in the district is between 800mm and 1000mm of which the majority is received in the summer months.
Land Use and Ownership
Land tenure in the planning area is characterized by freehold, communal and state ownership. The four major land use categories in the planning area are Large Scale Commercial Farming Areas (LSCFA) including residential agricultural areas; communal lands; Small Scale Commercial Farming Areas (SSCFA) and urban areas. The main development nodes in the planning area are Chinamhora (centered on Parirewa and Borrowdale Road extension), Arcturus Farms, Chikwaka and Chinyika (centred along the Enterprise Road, Juru District Service Centre and Arcturus Mine) Bromley ICA (along the Mutare Road and Ruwa Growth Point and portion of Chinyika and the farms around Goromonzi Rural Service Centre). There is potential to increase the proportions of urban, small scale farms, residential/ agricultural and resettlement land in the planning area at the expense of LSCFA’s and to introduce more equitable land tenure and other land use innovations such as horticulture, game farming and holiday homes. In order to accommodate a greater variety of land uses as stated above it will be necessary to provide a more versatile policy that guides subdivisions whilst simultaneously does not threaten agricultural viability of agricultural entities. There is a threat posed to landowners in the communal areas by urban development due to the inadequacy of land as a whole and this needs to be addressed through resettlement or land reorganization.
The district has a population of 224 987 (2012 Zimstat National Census figures). There are 113 661 females and 111326 males in the District. The percentage of females is 50,5% while that of males is 49,5%. The population density for Goromonzi district is 9 people per square kilometre. The average family size for Goromonzi is 4 people per household. The dependency ratio is 45% with an active population of 55%. The population is predominantly rural (75%) with urban areas accommodating 25% of the district’s population. Recently, the district has witnessed an influx of illegal settlers in communal areas around rural service centres. The majority of the district’s population lives in communal areas (53,17%) while 42.36% live in commercial farming areas.
The total road network in the district is 1 606km. There is presently no well-established and efficient road hierarchy to link and create a well-defined administrative; social and economic entity of the planning area. This is exacerbated by the lack of public transport. Special attention needs to be paid to the upgrading of the existing district road network. There exists a clear need to integrate the existing road network and its administration into a unified hierarchy.
Communal farming in the planning area is predominantly seasonal and dependent on rainfall while some commercial farms supplement rainfall with irrigation. There is need to improve irrigation facilities for communal areas. The development of water resources in the planning area has not received serious attention. There is potential for the expansion of irrigation and water reticulation for urban settlements from the abundant raw water sources. Protected wells and boreholes in the communal and commercial farming areas serve as sources for domestic water although a high number of people (26, 49%) are still utilizing unsafe water. There is an advanced proposal to construct the Kunzwi Dam on the Nyaguyi River which will supply water to Goromonzi, Ruwa and Harare. The development of water resources for domestic, agricultural, urban and industrial use needs urgent action.
Wood fuel is the most common and accessible source of energy for domestic use in the planning area. The present extent of electricity distribution network in the district does not cover the larger part of the communal lands. Deforestation continues to deplete firewood as a source of energy especially the communal and resettlement areas. There is a need to plant more trees and improve conservation measures to avert future scarcity of wood supplies. The district has plenty of sunshine throughout the year which presents great potential to invest in solar projects. There is also potential for investment in other alternative sources of energy.
The main economic activity in the planning area is agriculture. The major farming activities are crop cultivation; livestock rearing; vegetable and dairy production. Most of the farming is subsistence. There is a huge potential for both intensive and extensive farming particularly in the field of horticulture, tobacco and maize production.
The district has two major companies engaged in mining, namely Arcturus Mine which is involved in gold mining, and Mistress Mine which produces phosphate based products. The two mines are operating at below 40% capacity. Goromonzi district has other small scale gold mines near Arcturus Mine.
Goromonzi is endowed with beautiful scenery. The must see places include Ndambakurimwa forest; Domboshava hills, caves and balancing rocks and tunnel. The beautiful scenery offers great opportunities in ecotourism; film making, mountain climbing, camping and picnic; 4X4 vehicle mountain climbing; cultural tourism; game viewing and boat cruising. Some of the places that can be visited are Ngomakurira rock paintings; Chinamhora rock paintings; Mbizi and Bally Vaughan game parks; Ewanrigg Botanical Gardens; Mermaids Pools and the Village Place Resort.
The IRBM system was adopted by the Government of Zimbabwe in 2005 as part of its public sector reforms and has since been cascaded down to key government agencies such as local authorities; parastatals and public enterprises. The major thrust of the IRBM system is to guarantee results in the delivery of public goods and services. The system ensures efficiency, economy and effectiveness in utilisation of the scarce public resources. It recognises the ever dwindling public resources and thus aims to achieve “more results with less.”
The ZimAsset is an economic blueprint which was adopted by the Government of Zimbabwe to ensure the delivery of social services; food security; infrastructural development; value addition and beneficiation and sound corporate governance. Goromonzi rural district council falls under the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing whose major briefs under ZimAsset are provision of social services and infrastructural development. The strategic plan deliberately identifies these two key result areas (KRAs) as its major priority areas and the achievement of results will immensely contribute to the growth of the economy as a whole.
The vision, mission and the core values of the council were reviewed and aligned to those of central government to ensure maximum collaboration and unity of purpose by all stakeholders. An analysis of the current situation particularly local, national, regional and global trends was also part of the strategic planning process. Environmental scanning was carried out with focus on building upon the strengths; overcoming weaknesses; exploiting opportunities and blocking the threats (SWOT) of Goromonzi rural district council. A client/stakeholder needs analysis was also comprehensively carried out with a view to determining the council’s priorities over the planning period.
As the council navigates through this trajectory, it is also mindful of the Constitution inspired changes that affect local government. The new Constitution of Zimbabwe (2013) provides for the constitutionalisation of local government and the allocation of at least 5% of national revenue resources to local authorities. The realignment of current legislation to the new constitution and the subsequent implementation of the changes are expected to usher in a conducive operating environment and more revenue resources to effectively deliver public goods and services.