Residents plead for street lights

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File picture of a street light

Perpetua Murungweni

Masvingo-Following reports of a rise in theft cases in vicinity, residents from the splashy suburb of Rhodene have expressed concerns, pleading with Masvingo City Council to install street lights to fend off criminals.
Residents said the absence of street lights has led to thieves taking advantage of the darkness to rob residents while cases of break-in at some properties have also been reported.
“We have been paying the street lighting levy for the past 12 months but there are no streets lights yet. Residents are robbed and lose their valuables to thieves who thrive in the darkness. Council should just urgently come to the rescue of residents who are now living in fear during the evening,” said one resident Aaron Ndonde.
Another resident Acqueline Kahari also expressed fear as a result of the rise in cases of theft as a result of darkness.
“We are now living in of fear of thieves and robbers as they are taking advantage of the dark streets and some are using the dark streets as hide outs to rob pedestrians,” said Kahari.
Masvingo Town Clerk Engineer Edward Mukaratirwa said plans are already underway towards implementation of street lighting projects.
He added that council has begun working on the project and they are waiting for Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA)’s response since the two are supposed to work in partnership.
“As council we are working towards the project and we have made resolutions to partner with ZESA. We have signed the Memorandum of Understanding and we are now waiting for ZESA’s response,” said Eng Mukaratirwa.
Masvingo city council has proposed to introduce public lighting fee in its proposed 2021 budget, a fund which they say was to be used to repair and refurbish the public lighting infrastructure in the city.
In February 2021, Masvingo City Council confirmed that residents had already started paying the street lighting levy.
Eng. Mukaratirwa also said the project is going to be powered by both solar and electricity so that both parties (council and ZESA) will participate in the project.
“The project is going to partly solar system and partly electrical system so as to ensure that both parties will participate on the project,” said Mukaratirwa.

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