Marondera RDC bemoans delay in layouts approval

By Archford Chirimudombo

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MARONDERA- Despite facing numerous challenges, chief among them being residents and
ratepayers’ inconsistencies in paying their rates, the Marondera Rural District Council has been
registering traceable success stories when it comes to service delivery, chief executive officer
Tichafara Gundo has claimed to this publication.
Apart from some ratepayers' failure to honour their financial obligations, other challenges being
faced by the local authority include delayed approval of proposed layouts, low staff turnover, the
dilemma of having to purchase fuel in hard currency and the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
There is also the issue of a mismatch between revenue and expenditure as council is working with a
static tariff yet, according to Gundo, the costs of doing business continue to rise.
"As in any other local authority, challenges are there but we have managed to achieve a lot of
success under those circumstances. Our success stories include, but are not limited to, participatory
planning, budgeting for and implementing council projects. We have also done well in terms of
capitalization through procurement of key equipment.
"We also embraced digitalisation and adopted key technologies and communication systems, with
council by-laws being gazetted accordingly. Our trafficable road maintenance has been consistent
and we always capacitate our staff members," he said.
The rural local authority, which serves Marondera East and Marondera West constituencies is owed
nearly ZWL$70million and has devised mechanisms to recover the money it is owed by farmers,
businesses and dwellers.
“We are owed nearly ZWL$70million for rates and that has been impacting negatively on our efforts
to offer consistent service delivery. However, we have put in place several debt recovery
mechanisms.
“We are constantly sending bulk SMS and e-mail reminders and making telephone engagements
with our debtors. We are urging them to come forward and make payment plans. Where our
debtors fail to pay the obligatory rates, we have litigation against them as an option,” he said adding
that the council acquired a sage pastel debtors management module to assist them on debt
management.

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