President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa is expected to date the city of Gweru today where he will be conferred with Freedom of the City status.

In a notice, acting town clerk Livingston Churu said: “The City of Gweru is renovating the city to ensure that the city becomes a sustainable and prosperous city of choice by 2030.

“We have a beautiful vision which we should strive to achieve. We, therefore, implore residents, clients and stakeholders to join us as we improve our city.”

He said shop owners should renovate and spruce up their buildings, informal traders operating in the central business district move to designated areas while noise will not be tolerated in the city centre.

Council workers have been busy putting carriage markings on all major roads in the city, clearing grass and refuse with the renovation of the city’s Boggie Clock Tower being the major attraction.

The rehabilitations and sprucing up of infrastructure ahead of Mnangagwa’s visit, however, received criticism from residents who have been bearing the brunt of poor service delivery.

“Council is now painting buildings and other relevant places to give the President the impression that everything is in order in Gweru, yet council is failing to find a lasting solution to the water crisis we are currently facing,” said one resident, Shepherd Dzuda.

Another resident, Constance Mariko said: “This idea by council to spruce up infrastructure ahead of the President’s visit is archaic. It’s better to present the challenges as they are to Mnangagwa and his ministers.”