HCC urged to engage residents

HARARE - The Harare Residents Trust (HRT) is urging councillors to honour promises made in the course of their election campaigns by strengthen citizen engagement and fighting corruption.

In a statement, the trust said the Harare City Council (HCC) should concentrate on improving service delivery, while calling on the city fathers to deliver on what they promised residents and ratepayers in the just-ended polls.

“Residents expect the incoming council to focus their priorities on delivering adequate water to all households connected to the council’s distribution network and replace all underground water pipes along the distribution network,” said HRT.

The trust said council should involve residents in budget formulation while at the same time improving the billing system to ensure residents get value for their rates.

HCC, according to HRT, should also consider cutting down rates by 30 percent to ensure that more people pay their rates in full, thus reducing the deficit between the targeted annual budget and the actual revenues generated in each calendar year.

“Council should get rid of all forms of corruption, especially in land allocations and employment in council, the informal sector has to be reviewed with focus on decongesting the central business district, the issue of vending and ranks for commuter omnibuses must be addressed, refuse collection must be a major priority,” it said.

“They should also harmonise the relations among key stakeholders of the City of Harare, in particular the relationship between the management and councillors, and their combined relationship with ratepayers and residents, and other key stakeholders like business and industry.”

HRT said it is looking forward to working with Harare mayor Herbert Gomba, his deputy and all the elected councillors from across the political divide in order for the city to reclaim its Sunshine status and to be a world-class city by 2025.

“The HRT is ready and prepared to rally the residents to put their heads together and make significant contributions towards the rebuilding of our once great capital city of Zimbabwe.

“Service delivery has to be improved and citizens’ participation in the council has to be improved, enhanced and valued by the policy-makers.

“What makes the City of Harare councillors fortunate is that they are largely by themselves as MDC Alliance councillors with one Zanu PF councillor.

“The HRT reiterates its commitment to building capacity for productive engagement among the residents, their elected representatives and service delivery managers in order to improve the living standards in communities,” he said.

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