Masvingo residents protest Road Levy

HARARE - Masvingo residents are threatening to boycott paying a proposed road levy, claiming the city council imposed it on them.

Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers Alliance (Murra) spokesperson Godfrey Mtimba said the road levy resolution was passed in consultation with ratepayers.

Masvingo resolved during a full council meeting that every resident will be charged $3 per month towards the road levy.

“Residents are calling on the city council to urgently engage residents as a matter of urgency, failure they will mobilise themselves en-masse and boycott the paying of the levy. If not addressed, residents will also decide on other forms of action to take,” Mtimba warned.

He said city fathers should rescind the resolution and consult residents on a new way forward as ratepayers were deliberately ignored. Mtimba said residents were already reeling in debt, and said they did not need the extra burden of the road levy.

“The people still have 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,” Mtimba said.

Masvingo mayor Hubert Fidze said the city needs the money to fix its roads as the disbursements from Zinara were very little. He said the reintroduction of the road levy was to make sure that the city had supplementary income to fix its dilapidated roads.

“Right now, the city requires in excess of $24 million to have the entire network repaired and maintained to acceptable standards,” Fidze said.

According to Masvingo’s engineer Tawanda Gozo, the city received $1,2 million from Zinara of which $180 000 will be for the emergency road rehabilitation programme.

The money will be used to repair Unity Road, Old Great Zimbabwe Road, Elliot Street, Chrome Road and Herbest Street.

Pothole patching and resealing have been allocated a total of $90 072, while street lighting maintenance, street name plates and drainage system maintenance are estimated to cost around $85 928.

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