During a service delivery feedback meeting conducted by Tell Zimbabwe (TellZim) last week at Mamak Lodge with citizen journalists and youths from Ward 3, town council chairperson Gibson Hwende and his deputy Ropafadzo Makumire were taken to task to explain the state of service delivery in the sugarcane town.
Chiredzi town’s $400 million budget was recently approved and the youth called on the council to deal decisively with rates defaulters so that revenue can be generated.
“We have a budget of $400 million and much of the funding comes from revenue streams chief among them being rates. The council is owed a lot of money and there are no mechanisms in place to make sure that people pay for the services they receive.
“The less people pay, the more service delivery suffers. We will not go anywhere if we keep this up. There are other people who religiously pay their bills but are not getting the service because others are not paying.
“Let us be a responsible citizenry,” said one youth at the meeting.
During the peak of the Covid-19 induced lockdown, Chiredzi TC revenue collection dropped to 5 percent from 56 percent.
Wards 5, 6, 7 and 8 have acute water shortages which have severely affected payment of rates to Chiredzi TC which one youth Thandeka Tsumele said the council should improve in order to increase their revenue collection.
“Poor revenue collection by Chiredzi TC should be blamed upon themselves. The local authority should employ stringent measures to those who are enjoying services as well as improve on those who are not getting it in order to justify the need for its stakeholders to pay rates.
“Those who are not getting water might be the ones willing to pay for the service, so council should improve on that,” said Tsumele.
Chiredzi TC vice chairperson Makumire said there was need to improve on water reticulation, which they seek to improve through employment of technocrats in the field being supported by devolution funds which will be mainly channelled towards improving water reticulation and distribution.
“We are very much aware of the water situation, though some areas like my ward and ward four are better than others.
“Your council sought to employ technocrats to deal with the problems one and for all and some of our devolution funds will go towards the upgrade of the water reticulation and distribution,” said Makumire.