City of Masvingo acting Town Clerk Edward Mukaratirwa has poured a bucket of cold water on residents who are objecting the 500 percent rates hike which came into effect in February saying the council was not out to make profit but implementing a cost recovery strategy.
Residents have been at war with the city fathers over the rates hike with the Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Ezra Chadzamira wadding into the fight demanding for an immediate rates review.
Mukaratirwa has however maintained the council’s position saying the rates increase was the only way out of the service delivery crisis which has seen basic services like refuse collection and provision of clean water ground to a halt.
“The intention of the increase is for provision of proper services to the residents to ensure that they enjoy clean water supply, have street lights, roads are good and well maintained, refuse collected regularly, fire brigade is well equipped and the clinics have adequate medicine.
“Masvingo City Council, like any other local authority, is a non-profit making institution where services are based on cost recovery model and every service charge is justified by a cost build-up,” said Mukaratirwa.
Under the new rates, residents in the high density suburbs would have to part with an average of $2 600 per month up from $472.
Mukaratirwa said resident’s objections to the proposed budget were duly noted and forwarded to the minister of Local government.
“The budget was forwarded to Government for approval following consultations between council and the residents towards the end of last year and the objections that were received were attended to and recommendations were made to the Minister of Local Government and Public Works July Moyo when he approved the city’s budget,” said Mukaratirwa.
Residents’ organisations- Masvingo
United Residents and Ratepayers Alliance (MURRA) and Masvingo Residents Forum-
have drawn the line in the sand spoiling for war with the local authority.