Gokwe was originally a government station. It housed a district commissioner, police, hospital, veterinary services and other government rural agencies. Primarily for the administration of the district, it was also the base for the control of the tsetse fly and its associated lethal disease trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness).
Growth Point Status
The place was proclaimed a Growth Point in 1982 under the government’s growth points policy.
Gokwe town is a success case of the government’s growth point policy whose results in July 2006 culminated in the proclamation by the state that it becomes a town.
Gokwe Growth Point then run by the Gokwe South Rural District Council rapidly turned into a town skipping the Rural Service Center status because of its rapid developmental ratecourtesy of the Kwekwe-Gokwe Highway which brought a much needed connectivity to all parts of Zimbabwe through its Kwekwe end link into to the A5 Harare to Bulawayohighway.
The step to establish the administrative machinery of the town included the putting in place of a commission appointed by the minister for local government in terms of the urban councils act Chapter 126.96.36.199(b). This appointed commission was to run office until the coming in of elected councilors.
Initial Committee 2008
The delimitation team divided Gokwe Center into 6 wards for the 2008 harmonized elections. Consequently, six councilors were elected, and as required two special interest councilors were appointed by the minister in terms of the urban councils act to form the first ever Gokwe Town Council.
From the 2013 harmonized elections Gokwe Town Council is set in place and run according to the Urban Councils Act Chapter 29:15.
Gokwe Town Council is affiliated to the Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe and Councilor Esther Senga of Ward 3 (Green Valley) is a committee member of the Presidential Committee of UCAZ.
2008 to 2013 Elected Councillors
1 Tangwara Onias ____ MDC
2 Sibanda Sithabiso___ MDC
3 Mashizha Elizabeth_____ MDC
4 Mudondo Darlington_______ MDC
5 Mutegwe Lisias ______ MDC
6 Chipfuko Vengesai_____ MDC
(Ward, name and Political Party)
- 1 Taruvinga Davis Zanu-PF
- 2 Nyamukasa Duncan (Zanu-PF)
- 3 Senga Esther (female) (Zanu-PF)
- 4 Mapfunde Fastimo (Zanu-PF)
- 5 Mlanga Jameson MDC-T
- 6 Mafa Manuel (Zanu-PF)
Gokwe Town Council has Four Department, namely 1. HR and Admin 2. Finance 3. Engineering (Works and Services) and 4. Housing, Health and Community Services.
The town council has built a $300,000 administration block as part of its service delivery.
Refuse collection is done on regular bases and the council has engaged voluntary organizations such as religious groups, churches and women’s clubs for litter monitoring, on the Keep Gokwe Clean campaign.
Commerce and Industry
Industry in Gokwe is dominated by small scale formal and informal Entrepreneurs. However a number of standard industrial organizations are increasingly filtering in.
Gokwe Town apart from scores of smaller retail shops six major indigenous supermarkets and wholesalers of international standards; Spar, Metro Peach, Choppies, Nyaningwe, Eden Supermarket and Agro Foods are the pride of Gokwe. There are also modern night spots, the Chicago Sports Club, Junior Sports Bar, Gokwe Hotel and Pumba Lodge.
Banks like Barclays bank, CBZ, POSB and other financial houses are also in town, the Agricultural Bank of Zimbabwe Ltd. (Agribank) topping the list.
Gokwe town has six suburban settlements that include the low density, medium density and the high density.
Currently under MDC supervision
On estimation there are just less than 30 000 inhabitants in Gokwe town.
In 2012 according to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat), the town had 6 524 households, housing 10 914 male and 13 140 female mixed lingua residents.
Total population was 24 054, males being 45.4% of the total while female residents were the majority at 54.6%. The growth rate is 2.2%.
By the look of these statistics Gokwe has become bigger than some towns which got town status before Gokwe was even well known business center.
- Shurugwi which was established in 1899 by the BSAC had 21 905 residents and 5 879 households.
- Gwanda which is the provincial capital of Matabeleland South Province had 20 227 residents and 5 765 households.
- Plumtree had 11626 residents and just 3354 households.
There are various government departments in Gokwe town that include the
- Social Welfare
- Ministry of Youth,
- Justice Ministry represented by Magistrate Court,
- Ministry of Education,
- Home Affairs,
- The District Administrator’s office for the Ministry of Local Government and Urban Development,
- Ministry of Transport that oversees the Kwekwe-Gokwe Highway and other roads and road traffic related matters.
- Ministry of Agriculture represented by AGRTEX official and the Department of Livestock and Veterinary Services.
- Water Resources Ministry represented by Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) is one other ministry working flat out because all the water that the town needs for both domestic and industrial needs is borehole water. There are no nearby dams to supply the town with cheap water.
Parastatal organizations at the center are the
- Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco),
- Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission Distribution Company. (ZETDC),
- Grain Marketing Board,
- Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA)
- Public Service Commission
to name a few.
There are Four Primary Schools and Four Secondary Schools in Gokwe Town. Primary Schools 1. St Paul’s Primary School 2. Mapfungautsi Council Primary School 3. CZM Primary School 4. Gokwe Town St Agness Primary School
Secondary Schools 1. Cheziya Council High School 2. St Paul’s High School 3. Njelele Government High School 4. LOGOS Empowerment Girls High School
- The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP),
- The Magistrate’s Court
- The Zimbabwe Prison Services.
- Gokwe Hospital
- TelOne for telecommunications.
- ZimPost for postal services.
- Econet Celluer network provider.
- Telecel Celluer network provider.
- NetOne Celluer network provider.
- An aerodrome for small private planes which is popularly called Gokwe Airport.
- Bus station: Built up; with toilets, loading bays, refreshment kiosks and all-weather shelters.
- ^ Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe Town Council Profile-HISTORY: Gokwe is relatively a new town which was established by statutory Instrument 170 of the 2006 proclamation 6 of 2006. The town evolved out of Gokwe South Rural District Council. Because of its rapid developmental rate it is one of the few urban settlements in Zimbabwe which graduated to a town direct from a Growth Point. Most urban centres have grown from a rural service centre to a local board, the lowest on the Hierarchy of urban councils. www.ucaz.org |Member Profiles | Retrieved 6 February 2016
- ^ African Development Back Group |16 August 1999 Page 11 Section 2.6:Project Objectives and Scope at Appraisal; Subsection 2.6.2: The Kwekwe-Gokwe road has provided improved access and connection with the national network with the western part of the Midlands province which was isolated for many years Operation Evaluation Department| Retrieved 7 February 2016
- ^ Title 29. Chapter 29:15 Councils Act. Part II. (Establishment of a municipalities, town councils, local government areas and local boards and matters incidental thereto.) Section 9: “Promotion of local government.” Subsection 2(b) ‘appoint a commission of residents within the area to make recommendations on such matters concerning local government in that area as the council or the Minister, as the case may be, may direct.’ mlgi.org.za |Resources |Retrieved 7 February 2016
- ^ Gokwe Map Gokwe Wards Map ZEC| Gokwe.pdf | Retrieved 7 February 2016
- ^ Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe Cllr Esther Senga elected councilor for Ward 3 in Gokwe Town Council in the June 2013 harmonized elections. Is a Committee Member of the Presidential Committee of UCAZ. www.ucaz.org |Member Profiles | Retrieved 7 February 2016
- ^ Munyaradzi Musiiwa |19 July 2015 Gokwe Town House nears completion: “The construction of a $300 000 administration office in Gokwe Town is nearing completion, an official said. Addressing a visiting delegation from Gambia’s Kanifing Municipal Council, in Gokwe, town secretary Ms. Melania Mandeya said the administration offices would also see the introduction of an electronic billing system aimed at improving service delivery.Sunday News | Local News |Retrieved 7 February 2016
- ^ Munyaradzi Musiiwa |19 July 2015 Gokwe Town House nears completion: She also said they had engaged the services of voluntary litter monitors whom she said were helping council to clean the town for free. Ms. Mandeya said the local authority’s partnerships with churches such as Johan Masowe Chishanu in Ward 2, Green valley Women’s Club in Ward 3 and Ziso Reutano in Ward 2 had resulted in members of the community learning more about keeping their environment clean for the good of their health. “We have litter monitors, churches and community organizations that are keeping the town clean for free, much to the benefit of the town,” she said. Sunday News | Local News |Retrieved 7 February 2016
- ^ Info Agribank Site : Gokwe Stand No 3, Hurudza House P Bag 6110,Gokwe Agribank website|Midlands|Retrieved 7 February 2016
- ^ Munyaradzi Musiiwa |19 July 2015 | paragraph 14 Gokwe Town House nears completion: “Gokwe has a population of about 25 000 residents.” Sunday News | Local News |Retrieved 7 February 2016
- ^ Econet Welcome to Econet__ Econet is a privately held diversified telecommunications group with operations and investments in Africa, Europe, South America, North America and the East Asia Pacific Rim, offering products and services in the core areas of mobile and fixed telephony services, broadband, internet, satellite and fibre optic networks.Archived December 18, 2005, at the Wayback Machine Econet Wireless | Home | Retrieved 26 January 2016
- ^ Telecel Zimbabwe Welcome__Telecel Zimbabwe is currently the second largest mobile phone network in Zimbabwe, with more than 2 500 000 active subscribers. Telecel | Home | Retrieved 26 January 2016
- ^ NetOne NetOne is the first cellular network operator in Zimbabwe based on Global System for Mobile Communications(GSM)