HUNDREDS of Torwood residents, some of them elderly people, braved a three-hour march covering a four-kilometre journey to Redcliff mayor Freddy Kapuya’s office to protest the ongoing evictions and high council rates and fees.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
The council has over the past two weeks locked out 19 families from their homes in the suburb accusing them of failing to settle their bills since June 2013.
The demonstrators also included Ziscosteel workers carrying placards which read: “Kapuya has failed us he should go”, “Shelter is a basic right respect it”, and “We have a right to clean water.”
Torwood Residents and Ratepayers’ Association president Michael Maphosa accused the local authority of charging residents for non-existent services saying most houses in the area did not even have running water or functioning toilets but were being billed for the services.
“Our members are being charged for non-existent services. Council charges a fixed $23 for water at each household each month but we fetch our water from boreholes and we feel this is daylight robbery,” Maphosa said while addressing the protesters at Redcliff municipal offices.
Kapuya and town clerk Elizabeth Gwatipedza refused to address the angry residents while heavily-armed riot police stood guard at the entrance to Town House.
Maphosa later presented copies of their petition to Kapuya and Kwekwe district administrator Tenpercent Mutikizizi’s offices demanding a stoppage of the evictions.
In the petition, the residents also demanded rehabilitation of housing infrastructure in Torwood and Rutendo and scrapping of fixed charges.