BY GARIKAI MAFIRAKUREVA
CHIREDZI residents are up in arms with the Chiredzi Town Council (CTC) over poor service provision, including failure to improve water quality and supplies.
This has led to the United Chiredzi Residents Ratepayers Association (UCHIRRA) demanding an audience with council management. In a letter to town chairperson dated June 6, 2019 and copied to all councillors, the district administrator and Chiredzi West MP Farai Musikavanhu (Zanu PF), residents are demanding a meeting with management for them to clarify how they are going to address the issue of water shortages and untimely disconnections.
Residents have bemoaned the stringent measures instituted by the local authority to deal with ratepayers whose water was disconnected. It emerged that council has been demanding clearance of half the debt before reconnection, leading to some residents going for months without water, risking disease outbreak in the process.
Part of the letter reads: “The residents publicly aired their grievances in the presence of the MP for Chiredzi West and two councillors for ward 3 and 7. They made it clear that they want an urgent interface with senior council staff that includes the town secretary, housing director, the director of engineering and all councillors.
“They feel you are providing raw water putting them at risk of waterborne diseases. As residents they want to know if Tongaat Hullets has stopped treating our water. Billing residents in areas without water is unacceptable. To make matters worse after disconnections, your office is frustrating their efforts by turning away those trying to settle their bills and refusing to give them time to pay.”
UCHIRRA said another bone of contention was the allocation of residential stands and the payment process which seems to favour land barons than ordinary citizens.
Council chairperson Gibson Hwende said he had not yet seen the letter.