Monday, September 20, 2021
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Residents reject proposed 200 percent rate hike

Clayton Shereni
Efforts
by Masvingo City fathers to increase rates by over 200 percent have received a
major setback after residents in the city’s 10 wards largely refused to endorse
the plans, TellZim has learnt.
The
city recently went on ward supplementary budget consultations but residents
expressed dissatisfaction in the city’s dismal service delivery record which
has seen some areas going for weeks without garbage collection and poor water
supply.
Speaking
at a consultative budget meeting, one Ward 9 resident said the city fathers
should have proposed a reasonable percentage which ratepayers could afford.
“The
city fathers should have at least proposed a 50 percent increase, a 200 percent
increase in unheard-of, what the council is offering does not meet the kind of
money we are paying, above all our wages are very low and have not increased,”
said the resident.
Masvingo
United and Ratepayers Alliance (Murra) spokesperson, Godfrey Mtimba told
TellZim News that the local authority seemed ignorant of the hardships being
faced by residents.
 “We are extremely against the idea of
increasing charges at a time residents’ sources of income remain stagnant.
Masvingo city council is one of the few urban councils that increased rates by
60 percent during the 2019 budget and why a supplementary budget barely a year
of adopting it.
“We
are happy that Residents have spoken, loud and clear, they rejected the hikes
during the consultative meetings held around the city. We appeal to the city
council to respect the residents’ wishes and we warn the city fathers that an
attempt to go against residents wishes will be disastrous,” said Mtimba.
In
November last year the local authority had difficulties in implementing a
proposed 66 percent rates hike after residents said it did not match the kind
of service delivery being offered.
With
the local RTGS dollar continuing to devalue, local authorities who had their
2019 budgets drafted using the local currency have since  moved to supplement in order to improve
service delivery in their respective towns putting another burden upon
struggling ratepayers.

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TellZim News is the leading news organization in the Southern region. It provides candid, balanced and timely news from the communities. Keeping it real. Committed to tell Zimbabwe.

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