ZIMBABWE’S economic challenges that include foreign currency shortages, a fuel crisis and high unemployment among others have affected service delivery in the capital city, a councillor has said.
BY MOSES MATENGA
Addressing residents on Saturday at a feedback meeting dubbed State of the Ward Address, Ward 16 Councillor Denford Ngadziore said while council was trying to implement the Smart City initiative, the crisis in the country was hampering the project.
“Payment of our bills is key as service delivery will not in any way come without payment of bills. For people to enjoy the services, there is an obligation placed upon them to pay their council bills. Our payments remain low due to a number of factors which include employment and economic challenges,” Ngadziore said.
“The status of our finances has not been very much pleasing. Generally, the macro economic environment has posed some challenges to the city and residents thereby reducing their capacity to pay.”
He said the Harare City Council (HCC) was only collecting about 40% of the potential revenue of $447 000 per month.
Ward 16 comprises Madokero, Maranatha, Cotsworld Hills, Sentosa, Greeencroft, Westlea, Nkwisi Gardens, Tynwald North, Haig Park, Meyrick Park, Sunridge, Bluffhill, Matidoda, Homelink, Bloomingdale, Sanganai Inn, Ashdown Park, Mabelreign Central and Stotford.
The entire ward has around 13 200 households and about 3 000 commercial properties.
Ngadziore said despite all the challenges, the ward has formed a development committee and a state-of-the-art modern community hall is going to be constructed in Westlea through a partnership.
He said there were plans for the construction of a community centre with modern facilities and the plan included a council clinic which will service the surrounding areas and beyond.
“In the same area, we are going to have a concept of smart houses the first of its kind in the city and the models and designs are now in place and awaiting approval from council.
“Plans are also underway to have a council sub office at the community hall in Westlea for ease of doing business with council. We have plans to acquire land for a primary school in Lenana in order to ease pressure on the current council school in Westlea. Engagements are ongoing with the owners of land that has been earmarked for the school site,” the councillor said.
He said the HCC hopes to partner with mobile network operators to bring technology to Mabelreign Library.