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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles


  • Put service delivery first, Mr President
    Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
    August 23, 2013

    President R.G Mugabe was sworn in yesterday as the head of state and government amidst calls for interrogation into his election victory which has been described by many as free and not fair. President Mugabe won by a 61% margin ahead of his main rival, Morgan Tsvangirai who polled 33%. However, residents of Harare have pointed out that the new Zanu-PF government should put issues of service delivery first ahead of their personal interests. Of late, Harare has been crippled by service delivery failure which only manifested after the July 31st election. Electricity distribution had stabilised significantly but the post election era saw massive power cuts mainly in suburbs that lie in the periphery of Harare.

    The call for improvement in service delivery has been stemming at each of the five peace committee meetings convened this week and residents have made it clear that rates boycott will be imminent if this erratic provision of water and electricity continues. In Msasa Park, residents last had running water on their taps more than three years back and this area alone has been grappling with dry taps with residents resorting to digging wells. Inter-city road networks need to be improved to allow for local economic development. Roads that lead to Mbare Musika need to be resurfaced and the new government will need to prioritise this. Other new settlements in Harare still need to be tarred. In Waterfalls we still have dust roads and this sets low standards for Zimbabwe’s capital.

    Whilst residents feel relieved by the slashing of rates, we still await the local authority’s financial recovery plan which should have been communicated in the manner in which the slashing of rates was sounded. To date, nothing has been put on record with regards to the recovery plan pointing out how local authorities are going to be fundraising outside rates. We also demand to know what is going to happen to the huge debt that government owed Harare City Council together with other military and police departments. This will set a bad precedence on the part of government because government will continue to use services rendered by Harare City Council without paying a single cent subsequently putting the burden on residents.

    As residents, we demand effective, efficient and affordable services as one of the benchmarks we will use to measure performance of the current Zanu-PF government. We will not hesitate to disengage at various levels of governance should we at any time be deprived of our right to water and other rudimentary services. We shall be reviewing performance of each service provider quarterly and releasing their respective score-cards against the Zanu-PF manifesto.

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