Sakubva residents grill Cllrs over service delivery
'...council hostels must be sold to tenants'
MUTARE – TellZim was in Mutare on Friday, December 13, 2019 for a public dialogue between residents of wards 4 and 5 who are mostly people in Sakubva high density suburb where service delivery shortcomings are arguably most severe.
Many residents turned up at Beit Hall to seek audience with Cllr Kalulu of Ward 4 and Cllr Mapuvire of Ward 5.
Issues that came up included the delays in the completion of the Sakubva Stadium refurbishments which many participants felt was inconveniencing their right to affordable recreation.
Other participants wanted to know when Mutare City Council intended to sell old council-owned houses that have been leased to tenants for decades. Most of the houses are poorly-maintained and are quickly falling apart.
There were also participants who felt council was not doing enough to ensure a more stable water supply situation in Sakubva and other high density residential areas.
Some women complained that council was not taking stern action against reckless disposal of diapers and other forms of pollutants that are making the streets and open spaces a big stink.
In response, Kalulu said he acknowledged frustrations at what appeared to be the slow pace of refurbishments being carried out at Sakubva Stadium but assured residents that work will be completed in 2020 without fail.
“Council has put in place all the materials needed to carry out the work successfully and we can all see that something is happening there. The bricks are there and work is progressing well though at a pace we might not be satisfied with. I plead with you to be a little bit more patient as council is making progress. Recreation is a right and we understand people’s frustrations,” said Kalulu.
On when council intended to sell the old houses it has been leasing to tenants for many years, Kalulu said a resolution was being made to fast-track the process.
“Those houses are in bad shape and there is an agreement in council that selling them to the faithful tenants who have been consistently paying their rentals will improve the situation. If a person buys the house, he will be more responsible with it, and he won’t hesitate investing his own resources towards its upgrade and maintenance. Some of those houses are now being sub-leased by people who have long relocated to their home areas like Murewa. Those people are being paid rentals every month and that is not right as it is exploitative,” said Kalulu.
In his own words, Mapuvire said council acknowledged all the service delivery shortfalls being experienced in the city and was working to improve the situation with the limited available resources.
“The water situation has to improve and refuse collection has to improve too. We face a severe economic crisis as a country and that has a bearing on the performance of the city council. The problems mean that we need a united front as council and residents. We urge you to pay your bills in full and in time and, in turn, hold us to account,” said Mapuvire.
He also said each resident must be an environmental police officer to make sure those who dump disposable nappies and other nasty material everywhere are exposed, shamed and fined.