Mutare residents in rates boycott

MUTARE residents have threatened to boycott paying rates to force council to improve service delivery, among other demands.

BY KENNETH NYANGANI

The residents through Mutare Residents and Ratepayers’ Trust (UMRRT) lawyer Passmore Nyakureba formally informed council on Monday of their decision to boycott paying rates.

UMRRT director Sebastian Bakare said residents would only start paying rates after their grievances have been addressed.

“It must also be made absolutely clear that we as residents and ratepayers do not want to see the city council collapse and as such will place our rates and levies in a trust account to be administered by local firm and returned to Mutare City treasury once all our concerns and resolutions have been met,’’ he said.

In a letter of notice that was handed to the local municipality, Nyakureba said service delivery had deteriorated rapidly.

“Our client is gravely concerned about the outlook of the city which has rapidly deteriorated and service delivery which is as its worst as we write to you. The decreed conduct of council is abhorrent to good governance, efficiency, transparency accountability or institutional coherency as provided under section 265 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe,’’ Nyakureba wrote.

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“In the circumstances, our client has instructed us to notify you as we hereby do of the following measures that they are taking with immediate effect until their demands are followed.

“Indefinite rate and levies boycott, legal action for the supply of the following information, audited council debtors list, time schedule for the collection of education levy, a breakdown of how much has been collected and how it has been used, consultative meetings minutes for the street lighting levy.”

Mayor Tatenda Nhamarare said they would soon engage the residents to address their concerns.

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