Ward 16 comprises suburbs Greencroft, Sunrise, Sunridge, Ridgeway, Mabelreign, Meyrick Park, Cotswold Hills, Haig Park, St Andrews Park and Ashdown Park.
Mabelreign is the centre of the ward, with a police station, clinic, the Cameron Freer swimming pool, library, a city council district office, a ZESA base and office and a post office.
There are also three state primary schools and two respected high schools, Mabelreign Girls’ High and Ellis Robins Boys’. Several large churches are dotted around and the Westreign home for the elderly is here.
The district’s largest shopping centre is in Mabelreign’s horseshoe-shaped Stortford Parade, which has been smartened up recently, and even has a diagnostic imaging centre. On the other hand, it is probably unique in Harare for having nine bottle stores/bars along the 100 metres of the southern arc of the horseshoe.
Next door is the 18-hole Sherwood Golf Course which has its own club. There is also the friendly Mabelreign Club, and the exclusive Reserve Bank Club. Warren Hills Golf Club, also 18 holes, is on the southern boundary of the ward.
Greencroft also has a busy shopping centre with a large chain supermarket.
The first urban settlement in the ward was surveyed as a 3,000 acre farm in the 1890s and named by the surveyor as Mabelreign Farm, after his fiancée, Miss Mabel Reign. It was allocated by Edward Kermode, personal valet to Archibald Colquhoun, the colony’s first administrator. His son subdivided the farm, kept the name Mabelreign for one section, and named another after his mother’s maiden name, Elizabeth Meyrick.
Meyrick Park was being developed during World War II and it was intended as a posh area with large plots between one and two acres and large homes. The suburb, sheltered by two kopjies, Colston Hill and Stanley Hill, and with large developed gardens and shady streets, is one of Harare’s hidden treasures.
Mabelreign followed in the post-war housing development drive to cope with the flood ex-servicemen from South Africa and Britain. Haig Park is a typical example of post-war high-density housing.
Ward 16 is a relatively orderly and well maintained collection of suburbs with a low crime rate, but is being blighted by illegal industrial development and a rash of jerry-built cluster developments.