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Mabvuku public meeting report
December 10, 2010
of a public meeting held at Area D Community Hall in Mabvuku on
8 December 2010 at 10 am
Mutambu, the Chairperson of the Mabvuku Residents' Committee
welcomed all the members, introduced the HRT Coordinator Precious
Shumba and the Mabvuku Residents' executive. He said it was
important for all residents to unite and fight for a reduction of
the rates which have been proposed by the City of Harare.
on the proposed City of Harare Budget.
The HRT Mabvuku
executive committee member read out the topical issues in the proposed
2011 City of Harare budget. Emphasis was mainly on the proposed
figures for 2011 on housing, refuse collection, sewerage, water
and health or council clinic fees. This was done in comparison with
the suggested figures by the communities, under the Harare Residents'
Expectation of the 2011 City Budget:
- Refuse -
$ 1, Rentals - $5, Water -$2, Sewerage reticulation - $2, Cemetery
charges - $10
fees- Zero, Supplementary charges - $1, Clinic charges - $1 for
- Parking in
CBD - $1 per day, Hall booking - $25
- Library fees
-$1 per month, Flea market - to reduce by 50% current rates
schools - to reduce by 40%
and administration - the residents want the city to reduce
by 20 percent its workforce in the 2011 City budget.
Proposals: Effective 1 January 2010
- Water charges.
- High density
areas fixed charge- from US$5 to US$7
low density areas fixed charge from US$10 to US$13
- Water- industrial/
commercial fixed charge from US$50 to US$60
- This increase
disregards the suffering of the residents, who are currently failing
to pay their monthly dues to the council and other service providers.
- The City
of Harare has also proposed increases in rentals, making a mockery
of the so-called budget consultations that they conducted in the
communities. They never listened to the concerns of stakeholders,
of concern that arose at the meeting:
- There is
a large pool of unemployed and aged people (65+) in Mabvuku which
means that people cannot afford to raise the pegged fees for the
services due to them.
- The budget
is excessive and there is need to resist payment of the rates
- The residents
are currently in debt and need to clear what they owe council
first. This will make it difficult for them to cope with the proposed
- There is
so much insecurity from the residents. They felt that the council
might repossess their houses if they fail to pay up their huge
bills. This was highlighted during discussions on the message
that has been circulated by the City of Harare on monthly bills
indicating that senior citizens have to register with Rowan Martin
Building offices or visit their district offices on or before
31 December 2010 to be exempted from paying the full amount owed
to council per month. IN terms of the message senior citizens
will be allowed to pay 50 percent of the bills owing to council.
Out of ignorance the residents said they feared their houses would
be taken over by the council if they went to register, a situation
that can only be resolved through an awareness raising by the
City council officials in the City Treasury Department.
children and other legal dependants in Mabvuku have been dispossessed
of their homes due to the growing debts, which the council has
still failed to recognize in the current budget proposals.
- The residents
expressed reservations on how the council's rent- to- buy
housing program is operating in the community as up to now no
title deeds have been issued to residents.
- There is
a serious threat to community health in Mabvuku where most residents
continue to fetch water from unprotected water sources yet council
has increased the water charges in the proposed City budget. There
is a clear lack of transparency and accountability on the part
of the City of Harare.
- It was resolved
that there would be a collaborative effort to resist the 2011
proposed City of Harare budget "tikazviramba hazvibudirire"
ngachiitike pasina kudududza." (Our resolutions must be
carried through without backtracking).
- The HRT
to coordinate residents to develop a concrete position on the
strategy that the residents can use to massively resist the Proposed
2011 City Budget.
- The HRT
will lobby and advocate for the debt cancellation and start afresh
with an improved billing system.
- There is
need for Council to educate residents on the rent to buy policy
and to inform them on how they acquired debt when the multiple
currency system was introduced in February 2009.
- The Mabvuku
residents resolved to reje3ct the proposed 2011 City Budget within
the 30-day timeframe provided in terms of the Urban Councils'
Act (Chapter 29:15).
of the meeting
The HRT team
noted that the level of participation at the meeting was extremely
high. The participants clearly showed their disgruntlement with
the proposed City of Harare Budget. The residents unanimously agreed
that there is need to forward petitions to the City of Harare and
to resist the propose budget as soon as possible, through written
objection letters. The facilitators for the meetings (Mabvuku HRT
suburban committee members) were able to make good presentations
at the meeting. This is a welcome development to the HRT as the
capacity of its suburban structures has improved greatly.
HRT on 0772-869294/ 0772-771860 or email us on email@example.com
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