Ward 2, namely Harare Central, is one of the most interesting wards in the capital since it holds within its wide borders a mix of high, medium, and low density suburbs, numerous shopping centres, and some industry too.
The ward is demarcated by Boundary and Enterprise Roads to the north, a short run of the Mutare Road to the east before cutting down through Mukuvisi Woodlands area, where its south eastern border makes a long beeline for the Chiremba Road. It then follows Chiremba to the Seke Road, its western boundary, which it follows to a point in Arcadia, just shy of town.
Suburbs in the ward include: Cranborne; St Martins; Queensdale; Eastlea North and South; Arcadia; and Braeside, to make it the fourth largest ward in the city by land area.
The composition and geography of these suburbs is greatly influenced by Harare’s colonial past, when policies of racial segregation meant that areas such as Arcadia and Braeside were designated for coloured inhabitants. These areas hold their reputation for being coloured areas to this day.
Like other places in Harare, Ward 2 faces various challenges which include electricity shortages, water problems, and pot-holed roads, to name but a few.
Harare Central has quite a number of recreational and sporting facilities, which include Chapman Golf Club, Cranborne swimming bath, Queensdale and Arcadia sports club amongst others.
Despite its size Ward 2 has no council-owned school and children in the area rely mainly on private institutes. Schools in Harare Central include Admiral Tait, Roosevelt Girls High, Eastridge Primary, Moffat Primary, Churchill Boys High and Cranborne Boys High. The ward has one council owned pre-school in Arcadia which leaves residents mainly reliant on private crèches for kindergarten education.
In terms of shopping centres, residents can visit Queensdale, Braeside, Spar V.I.D., Arcadia, Haddon Motors, and Clyde shopping centre. Ward 2 also encompasses part of the Central Business District, making it an economic hub. The ward also contains various industries, both formal and informal.
Some suburbs in the ward such as Eastlea and Braeside also have many houses that have been converted into offices as more and more companies continue to move away from the CBD, reportedly due to higher rentals in town.
There are only three council-owned health institutions in Harare Central, namely Eastlea Health Centre, Braeside Clinic, and Arcadia Clinic. This means that residents must regularly turn to private health practitioners for medical attention. This gaping hole in medical services has been filled by numerous private surgeries found at the shopping centres and residential areas in the ward.
Several projects are underway in Ward 2 such as clean up campaigns at various shopping centres, pot-hole filling, and the rehabilitation of non-functional swimming pools such as the one in Cranborne. The Ward 2 communities are also reportedly lobbying for the improvement of sports clubs in the area into better recreational facilities.