Residents object to construction of Nust hostels

PROPERTY owners in Bulawayo’s Selbourne Park, Matsheumhlope and Riverside, have objected to the proposed construction of halls of residence for National University of Science and Technology (Nust) students in their area, saying this would cause overpopulation and a spike in the crime rate.

BY SHARON SIBINDI | Newsday

Local councillor, Silas Chigora said most property owners in the area were against the construction of hostels by Zimre Property Investment Limited and Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ ).

“The residents are against the move, saying crime will increase in the area. To make matters worse, Gwanda Road is always busy and just imagine 3 000 people crossing that road every day. At times accidents may occur,” he said.

Contacted for comment, Zimre managing director, Edson Muvingi said the hostels were not exclusively for Nust students, but would benefit students from other tertiary institutions.

“…Crime will increase in the area … Gwanda Road is always busy and just imagine 3 000 people crossing that road every day. At times accidents may occur..,” 

“We are not intending to build accommodation exclusively for Nust students. There are about eight major tertiary institutions that we are targeting. There is a serious student accommodation crisis in Bulawayo and our model provides for custom-made, study-friendly facilities,” he said.

“Currently, students are accommodated in all manner and form of accommodation at pre-emptive rentals. So many students are already renting within these specific areas. Nust and other tertiary institutions are excited about the prospects of such private investments. I may not be able to address questions relating to perceived personal gain or loss.

“We are informed that the university is also securing land for student accommodation off campus. Our investment model is long term, where we hold the structures in perpetuity and benefit from both rental and capital value appreciation or a reasonable terminal value.

“The profile of our investors also requires so, as they have long-term liability profiles. In an unstable economic environment, on campus built, operate and transfer arrangements, where the tenure for recovery of both capital and profit is fixed, can be a nightmare. We have had the benefit of our experience.”

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