GUTU - Residents of the new town of Mpandawana want the Town Board to be weaned off the Gutu Rural District Council (RDC) which they accuse of diverting revenue collected from the town to service rural areas.
Residents who spoke to TellZim News said they were not happy with the manner in which the 2017 budget was allocated, arguing that they contribute the lion's share of the revenue yet there is little to show of it in terms of service delivery.
"We were surprised to hear that the rural council was actually proposing to allocate funds to the Town Board. We were of the opinion that this year, the board would come up with its own budget as per information that was conveyed to us when the members took their oaths of office last year," said Clarissa Masocha, a concerned ratepayer.
She accused authorities of reneging on earlier pledges to leave responsibility for the town in the hands of the Town Board after one year.
"We don't see the value of the rates we are paying because the services we are getting do not match the money we are paying.
"The bulk of the budget is being gobbled by the rural council yet the areas under its jurisdiction contribute very little to the coffers. Roads in the residential areas are in very bad shape and there are endless leaks on the sewer pipes.
Other residents said service delivery had deteriorated because a powerless town board working at the pleasure of the RDC was appointed.
"The board has to be independent. We can't continue with a situation whereby we are made to pay for services being rendered elsewhere," said another resident.
When contacted for comment, Town Board chairperson Gabriel Mapepa said he could not comment on the issue.local