MUTARE residents are pinning their hopes of an improvement in service delivery on the newly-elected council.
The MDC-T-dominated council with only six from Zanu-PF out of the elected 19 councillors faces a mammoth task to turn around the fortunes of the city.
The council, though still to be inaugurated, will face disgruntled and demoralised workers who have gone for six months without salaries. It will also inherit debts accrued over the years in the form of money borrowed to keep the cash-strapped eastern border city moving.
Besides having plenty of sources of clean water, Mutare continues to battle with perennial water woes especially in Dangamvura, Hobhouse and parts of Murambi.
Residents told NewsDay that the new council should be responsive to their needs.
Combined Mutare Residents and Ratepayers’ Trust projects coordinator Desmond Mwedzi said the incoming council should prioritise external auditing to curb shoddy dealings and allow the council finances to grow in the positive.
“First and foremost, we hope to establish a working relationship with the incoming council. As stakeholders, we hope we can contribute positively to the well-being and governance of Mutare,” said Mwedzi.
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“We hope bickering between management and councillors will not dominate the council corridors this time around. We are also looking forward to the engagement of external auditors who should align our revenue and spending patterns.
“As residents, we want council to pay its workers on time. I wish also that rates be realistic and be within reach of many considering that the economy is still struggling,” said a Dangamvura resident, Gift Dirikwi.
An airtime vendor in Chikanga, Lloyd Gumbo, said the council should upgrade roads and improve on refuse collection.
“I hope something will be done on our roads. More should be done again on refuse collection because we risk outbreaks of diseases if the situation remains like this. There is a lot of pollution in Nyamauru and Sakubva rivers,” said Gumbo.
In Sakubva, the oldest suburb in Mutare, residents said they wanted the incoming council to refurbish their houses as well as overhaul the old flats. Mutare town clerk Obert Muzawazi said council would continue to improve the welfare of residents.
He said council had already complied with the ministerial directive to scrap all the outstanding individual bills.