Gweru city council has found itself on a collision course with the residents after the local authority is reported to have converted a vacant mayoral mansion into an isolation centre for municipal workers who would have tested positive for the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

According to Gweru United Residents and Ratepayers Development Association Trust executive director, Trust Chikore their major worry is that the mayoral mansion-cum-isolation centre is located in the busy Kopje area and the decision by the local authority exposes residents to Covid19 infections.

Chikore contends that it was wiser for the city council to consult the residents first, before converting the mayoral mansion which had remained unused for over a decade into a coronavirus isolation center.

“They converted the Mayoral mansion for the benefit of their workers but they didn’t consult us as the residents. Kopje is a busy area and we are worried as a community. They must have identified a place away from the residents,” said Chikore.

Reports from the Midlands capital indicate that at least 15 council employees including four nurses have tested positive to the Covid19 pandemic.

Of the four infected medical staffers, three are employed at Mkoba 1 Clinic while the other one is from Senga Clinic. All of them are said to have been in contact with known Covid- 19 patients and are said to be recovering well.

The city council’s public relations and communications officer Vimbai Chingwaramusee said workers whose homes meet the required World Health Organisation standards for self- isolation have been in self-isolation at their homes while those whose premises fall short of requirements would be taken to the mayoral mansion.

Chingwaramusee also said the local authority was in the process of testing all its staffers for Covid19.

“Covid-19 has affected our workers and some of the employees that have tested positive for the pandemic are failing to find suitable places for self-isolation. Council has since renovated the Mayoral mansion so that it can accommodate these employees,” said Chingwaramusee.