MASVINGO residents are up in arms with the local authority following a council resolution to impose a road levy to raise money for rehabilitation of the city’s road network.
The Masvingo United Residents and Rate Payers’ Alliance (MURRA), in a statement yesterday, said they would resist the move because they were not consulted when the decision was passed.
“The city’s residents body, Masvingo United Residents and Rate Payers Alliance condemns in the strongest of terms the re-introduction and imposition of the road levy by the city fathers without consulting residents.
“Although we concede that the city’s roads are in bad shape and need urgent attention and action, it is with shock and dismay that we have learnt that the city council has since made a unilateral decision and passed it as a resolution which is set to be enforced with immediate effect,” the statement read.
The residents also accused council of failing to account for the road levies they previously collected.
“Residents are, however still sifted with sad memories of the same levy which was imposed on them two years ago, but the city fathers failed to account and acquit the expenditure of the funds as only one road in Rujeko was conspicuously rehabilitated at the expense of several roads in the city’s 10 wards and a few equipment bought, which does not at all tally with the money that was collected,” MURRA said.
Masvingo mayor Hubert Fidze, however, said they held some consultative meetings in October 2017 where they discussed the budget and this is when they passed the resolution to re-introduce the levy.
“So for someone to say we did not consult I don’t think it’s proper. As always our accounts are open,” he said.
He added they have a 250km road network, with only 4km in good shape, and the rest needs rehabilitation.
Fidze said though the Zimbabwe National Road Administration has not yet disbursed road rehabilitation funds, they bought some equipment and repaired some roads.