MARONDERA Municipality has stopped issuing summons for non-payment of rates until further notice following a public outcry over lack of transparency in the manner the matter has been handled.
Report by Jairos Saunyama
Last week residents invaded the council chambers and summoned the council to an all-stakeholders’ meeting where they accused the city fathers of ripping off residents through issuing out summons every month. The meeting that was attended by mayor Farai Nyandoro, acting town clerk Rinashe Nyamuzihwa and councilors saw the council bowing to pressure from residents and resolving to stop the issuing of summons until Minister of Local Government Ignatius Chombo intervenes.
Combined Marondera Residents’ Association (Comara) co-ordinator Munemo Makuni, whose organisation called for the meeting, said the council was not being transparent with some residents receiving summons even after paying their rates.
“The whole issue is not transparent and the council is even summoning people to pay rates incurred during the Zimbabwean dollar era. Some residents had their properties confiscated for failing to pay. So we want the council to write off those bills and start afresh” said a local resident.
Nyandoro agreed to stop the issuing of summons, saying they would deliberate on the issue further.
“We agreed to stop issuing summons to residents for now and we are going to sit as council and deliberate on the issue. We also need to educate residents on the issue and we will be working with Comara since residents seem not to understand this issue of summons,” he said.
Some of the issues addressed at the meeting included that of packages paid for outgoing councillors, bonuses for contract workers and licensing.