GWANDA residents are up in arms with their local authority after they were recently asked to pay $1 per household to get printouts of their proof of residence to enable them to register as potential voters in next year’s elections.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
Gwanda residents have expressed concern over council’s decision to charge an extra fee for the print out.
On Thursday, the Gwanda Residents’ Association (GRA) wrote to town clerk, Priscilla Nkala protesting over the charge.
“While we do appreciate the cost involved in acquiring the stationery used in producing the paper, which might eventually be a huge expense item to council, we do not find justification why this should be pegged at a dollar for an A5 size piece of paper,” GRA general-secretary, Bekezela Maduma Fuzwayo wrote in the letter.
“The current local photocopying prices for an A4 paper, which produces two A5 size papers, is less than 10 cents per sheet. It is a fact that most such service providers are charging between $1 for 30 copies to $1 for 40 for A4 size copies, which clearly shows the serious over-charging for the same service by council.
“We, therefore, by means of this correspondence, implore to council to immediately reduce the charge for this service to an affordable 10 cents or less for the A5 size paper that council is providing. The residents’ association takes the provision of proof of residence to residents by council to its residents as part of council responsibilities, especially in preparation for harmonised elections that involve election of councillors that run council and so cannot be used by council as an income generating method.”
Fuzwayo told Southern Eye yesterday that the Gwanda municipality authorities had not responded to their letter.
Both Gwanda mayor Knowledge Ndlovu and the town clerk were unreachable for comment.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is demanding, among other things, proof of residence from all eligible voters to register.