Wednesday, September 22, 2021
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Chadzamira breathes fire, says rates must fall

 

Ezra Chadzamira


Upenyu Chaota

MASVINGO- Emotions are boiling
and tempers are flaring after the City of Masvingo increased rates by over 500
percent against objections from residents with Minister of State for Provincial
Affairs and Devolution Ezra Chadzamira joining the campaign slamming the city
fathers for being unreasonable and insensitive.

Addressing
a Zanu PF Masvingo Provincial Coordinating Committee (PCC) meeting today (March
20), Chadzamira said there was no justification whatsoever for the city council
to increase rates against the background of poor service delivery and
residents’ poor earnings.

Chadzamira
said councils should make sure that they engage residents before making reviews
which have an impact on their livelihoods.

“Our
urban and rural local authorities should sit down with the residents whenever
they want to increase rates. They must see whether the services they are
offering justify the increments. 

“They
must see whether increasing rates by 600 percent or 800 percent margins are
fair to residents. Let us consider the earnings of our people. The money that
is being charged by council is way beyond the earnings of residents.

“Someone
earns $2 000 per month for his family and the council comes and charge $8 000
or $9 000 to the same person. Where do they expect the money to come from?

“As
much as we want our councils to grow, we also need to look at the other side of
citizens, are they able to pay and are you able to deliver the services,” said
Chadzamira.

He said
the city council must reduce rates in consultation with residents and not hide
behind the notion that the budget had already been approved.

“Coordination
is very important and we should sit down with residents and make sure that they
have an input on the budget. We should agree before increasing rates.

“I understand
there is an outcry over exorbitant rates and dialogue is the only way out.
Councils should engage residents to come up with fair and affordable rates.

“It
does not matter whether the budget was approved by the ministry of local
government, revising the rates downwards is not an issue. Rates must be revised
downwards through engagement with residents. This does not need anyone from
Harare but we can do it here on our own,” said Chadzamira.

To
register their anger and discontent, disgruntled residents went on a spree
spraying graffiti in the Central Business District (CBD) on Friday calling on
rates to fall.

City of
Masvingo has justified the increments saying they are reasonable and would
facilitate effective service delivery.

A
feedback meeting to residents attended strictly by invitation amounted to
nothing on Friday after residents rejected all the council’s justifications.

 

 

 

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