MASVINGO- The under pressure City of Masvingo last Friday (March 26) convened a special full council meeting where they reportedly agreed to a 20 percent rates climb down from the 500 percent which caused a massive uproar from residents.
The local authority, which has been misfiring in service delivery on all fronts, has attracted a lot of backlash from agitated residents after a 500 percent rates hike which was effected last month.
Acting Town Clerk Engineer Edward Mukaratirwa told TellZim News that they had convened a meeting where some ‘adjustments’ had been made but couldn’t divulge the exact percentage being offered by the city fathers.
“We held a special full council meeting on Friday and we are going to engage residents at ward level, the dates are still being sorted out. Obviously some adjustments were made but I cannot tell you off head,” said Mukaratirwa.
A stakeholder meeting which was billed for February 19, 2021, ended prematurely as residents’ representatives could not accept anything less than a major rates reduction.
However, sources within council told TellZim News that the city fathers will soon approach residents with a 20 percent reduction offer during the soon to be held ward meetings.
“Yes we deliberated on the issue of tariffs in the special full council meeting and we resolved to reduce rates by 20 percent,” said a source.
The city council has been under immense pressure after the minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Ezra Chadzamira called on the local authority to engage residents before arbitrarily increasing rates.
Chadzamira said the rates could be reversed despite the budget having been approved.
Mayor Collen Maboke could not be drawn to comment as he said he was in Harare on official council business.
Despite suspending the city engineer Tawanda Gozo for gross incompetence, the city still faces the same crippling service delivery problems with water shortages getting worse and the quality deteriorating to unprecedented levels.