FACT CHECK: The City of Bulawayo has a deficit of 30 primary schools?

Claim: Bulawayo has a backlog of 30 Primary schools.

Verdict: Correct

Source: The Mayor of Bulawayo, Councillor Solomon Mguni in his report on 2 September said the City has a backlog of 30 Primary Schools.

“Cowdray Park, the City’s biggest ward has a higher share of the backlog,” said Mayor Mguni.

“To address the challenge, council used ZW$5,2 million of the government funds from devolution to begin construction of the schools in Cowdray Park. An additional funding of ZW$115 million is still required to complete the project,” he said.

Full Story: However, in article titled, Bulawayo has a schools deficit of 65 (https://www.chronicle.co.zw/byo-has-schools-deficit-of-65/), published on 3 August 2017, the local authority indicated that the city needed 65 new schools.

“The estimated number of schools needed as per Town Planning guidelines in the new suburbs was 65…As resources become available council together with other stakeholders could increase the number of schools to the expected level,” read the council report.

Responding to email questions, Senior Public Relations Officer, Nesisa Mpofu said the local authority indicated a backlog of 30 primary schools to fill in the gap that exists.

“Town planning standards require that a primary school be provided for every 500 households. The 65 is considered as the most optimum provision as per the standards and needs assessment,” said Mpofu.

“There are many players in the provision of school infrastructure in the city such as the government, private sector, Community Based Organizations (CBO), players etc, therefore Council has indicated a backlog of 30 to fill in the gap that exists with the rest expected to be filled by other players.”

Mpofu said Council has built 30 Primary schools and one Secondary school since 2017.

She however noted that resources constraints have affected some targets.

“The Council’s target is to build 2 schools per annum funds permitting, however due to resource constraints this target has been elusive to attain,” said Mpofu.

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