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Highfield - Geneva report
Harare Residents Trust
December 13, 2010

Report of a public meeting held at an open space in Geneva suburb of Highfield on Saturday 4 December 2010 at 10 am.

The Highfield Residents Committee has received several reports from residents of Highfield who feel betrayed by their councillors and other service providers, especially the council's district office. It was out of the community meeting convened on Saturday 27 November 2010 at Zororo Community Centre that residents from Geneva, a part of Highfield, raised alarm bells at the level of service provision in the area.

They claimed that the majority of the residents have accumulated huge debts which they felt could not be paid off. The majority of the people living in the area are unemployed and make a living through running informal businesses, vending and struggle to make ends meet. As a result another meeting was called by the residents who wanted the Highfield Residents' Committee to hear their issues and help them find a way to resolve them.

Below is what the residents said: There are three roomed houses, each family has one room, with each room receiving a city bill ranging from US$45:

  • Rented house- one room Geneva (1x20) US$23
  • Fixed domestic HDA US$2
  • Water consumption high density US$6 (indications are that they have no water meters yet they receive metred charges.)
  • Sewerage residential HDA US$2
  • Refuse collection US$3

Eddington Mugova, Chairman Highfield Residents' Committee: What the City of Harare is doing is unjust, from rented accommodation; they charge US$135 per household at US$45 each door. Residents of the area previously dealt with the councillor, Councillor Maxwell Katsande and District Officer Mrs Gowere and they were promised that the matter would be resolved. They were advised to stop payments until this matter was resolved. Since the dollarization, most residents have not paid their bills, accumulating bills amounting to at least US$800.

Residents who have made payments have been unable to pay the full amount, and have been paying US$20 or US$15 every month, meaning these residents have been continually accumulating a deficit of US$25 every month, and the council has still failed to respond to this issue.

Council property: No repairs, no door windows, no water supplies in some blocks, and they have been given notices to vacate their houses. There are 1 038 tenants.

Position: Highfield residents' leadership convened a meeting in the area on Saturday to discuss the problems with residents.

Contact the HRT on 0772-869294/ 0772-771860 or email us on hretrust@yahoo.com

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