Highfield residents demand meeting with ZINARA

Highfield Ward 24 residents have demanded to meet the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (ZINARA) to get an explanation on why the state enterprise has not been acting on collapsed road infrastructure in the old suburb.

Speaking at the 2016 Council Budget Consultation meeting held Saturday, residents told the poorly attended meeting ZINARA need to provide answers on the poor state of roads. “Since council says it is no longer responsible for the collection of revenue from motorists, we as residents would like to meet ZINARA so that they tell us why they have not been coming here to repair these roads. They are raking in millions of dollars but are doing nothing to repair these roads, we want to meet them so they tell us where they are putting the money,” demanded Timothy Chihota.

“We need to meet ZINARA and ask them to give back powers to the local authority so that they have power over both revenue collection and servicing of roads, how can we hold them (city council) accountable, they can even lie to us because there is no one here representing ZINARA hence we must meet ZINARA. The same motorists that ZANARA is collecting money from are also residents from here,” charged Irene Magezi.

Local councilor Job Mbadzi agreed with the residents’ requests saying ZINARA need to be transparent in its operations and ensure dilapidated roads across the city are repaired. “Yes! Residents are justified to demand to meet ZINARA because nothing has been done to service these roads despite payment of huge amounts of money by motorists through vehicle licences and toll-gates,” concurred Mbadzi.

ZINARA took over the administration of road funds from the city council in 2010 but maintenance of roads in Harare suburbs is still in the hands of Harare City Council (HCC) and this has resulted in the two institutions shifting the blame on each other.

City mourns Deputy Mayor Muzuva

Harare residents say they are saddened by the death of Deputy Mayor and Ward 14 Kambuzuma Councilor Thomas Muzuva (43)who passed on Wednesday.

Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) chairperson Simbarashe Moyo described the death of Muzuva as a great loss to the city. “Councillor Thomas Muzuva was a leader par excellence who had an open door policy. He is greatly remembered for his role in fighting bogus-partisan housing cooperatives particularly those that used senior government and ZANU PF officials in championing their illegal cause. Muzuva is also remembered for the role he played in our social accountability and citizen engagement program by agreeing to meet the residents of Harare on a monthly basis together with his boss, Mayor Ben Manyenyeni, and will be sadly missed,” Moyo told Talking Harare.

“We are saddened by the loss of Councilor Thomas Muzuva. The Harare Residents Trust (HRT) will forever remember its robust engagements on matters of policy and service delivery with the late Deputy Mayor,” said a statement released by the residents lobby group, HRT.

Kambuzuva Residents Associatio leader Davies Hove said Muzuva was an approachable leader who worked hard to develop his ward. “Councilor Muzuva was hardworking, he worked well with people, created jobs for many residents in Kambuzuma and he was very approachable irrespective of one’s background or status in society. In Kambuzuma, he facilitated the drilling of eight boreholes to ease perennial water shortages in the suburb. He also lobbied for the introduction of the 10% retention fund which has already started yielding fruits. We will dearly miss him,” said Hove.

Harare Mayor Benard Manyenyeni described Muzuva as “… a principled, objective and highly dependable leader who worked hard for the development of the city. His intimate knowledge of council operations helped shape the course of debates at council meetings and beyond.”

The late Deputy Mayor once told Talking Harare in February that council needed not to be heavy- handed when dealing with residents. “We need to balance the act and recognize residents as key stakeholders in the development of the city. There should be ways of ensuring residents do business but not in a way that expose the city to disease outbreaks,” he said in reference to city’s proposals to bar residence from engaging in backyard chicken – rearing projects.

Burial arrangements were not yet made public by the time of getting to print.

The death of Muzuva come exactly two months after Mabelreign Ward 16 councilor Lancelot Mudavanhu passed on in July.

Low turn – out mars council budget meetings

Harare City Council 2016 Budget consultation meetings began on a slow pace in the capital city last Sunday with few residents in attendance whilst other meetings were completely abandoned as no one, except council officials, pitched up.

harare cityAccording to residents’ lobby group, Harare Residents Trust (HRT), lack of planning on the part of city council has affected residents’ participation at the meetings. “On Sunday 13 September 2015 the City of Harare was supposed to conduct 16 Budget Consultative meetings across town, however some were cancelled as council officials did not properly advertise their pre-budget consultative meetings. For the meetings that were held, no gathering had more than 80 residents,” read a statement issued by HRT Tuesday.

Poor attendance at the meetings were recorded especially in Budiriro, Rugare, Glen Norah, Mbare, Kuwadzana and Dzivarasekwa. At a meeting held at the National Railways Community Hall in Rugare, residents said these consultation meetings were meaningless. “City officials every year bring the same budget without factoring in our concerns or even attempting to address issues that we raise and this has resulted in us losing confidence in the so-called public consultation meetings,” said one resident who attended the meeting.

Harare Mayor Benard Manyenyeni urged residents to attend the meetings in large numbers saying boycott strategies would not help. “Let us not throw away the baby with the bath water, as it is, we battle enough already to get reasonable crowds. We risk creating the wrong culture if we don’t participate and there is no need any more for boycott-type approaches and sentiments. Let us all attend and make our voices heard,” urged the mayor.

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