Role of councils is service provision

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COUNCILS must not abdicate their duties, which is provision of adequate services for the
residents.
Most councils across the province are guilty of short-changing residents, because of shoddy
service delivery, which has become the norm.
For example, presently most councils are failing to collect refuse, which has seen the landscapes
in most towns characterised by mounds of refuse all over.
Residents in Chinhoyi and Mhangura are irked by their councils, which are collecting garbage in
town and other visible areas while neglecting the high-density areas.
The manner in which refuse is being collected is erratic, and where this is done, it is only
because residents would have raised concerns.
This is totally unacceptable. Councils must not abdicate their responsibilities.
The statement by a Mhangura Rural District Council official that residents should pay in order to
obtain a service, because council has no other source from which to pay for the required services
is the kind of arrogance that is not acceptable and not expected of servants of the people. His
statement can be challenged because residents need to see evidence of what they are paying for.
Councils must provide service first before residents can pay.
Councils should never, ever expect residents to pay for services that councils are not providing.
Residents are paying inflated monthly rates, which councils are misdirecting into salaries and
allowances for council management. Councils have been fleecing residents for too long without
much service being provided.
The roads in residential areas are a sorry sight, with poorly maintained infrastructure in most
high density areas. Some roads have become inaccessible to vehicles and even difficult for
residents to move around in with the poorly maintained and poorly lit roads making it difficult to
collect refuse in these areas like in Chebanga in Mhangura and Pfupajena in Chegutu, Federation
and Brundish in Chinhoyi.
During the rainy season most of the roads in high-density areas are difficult to navigate for most
people as many have gulleys or resemble dams, making it difficult for the ordinary people to
move around or go to their homes.
It really is tragic when you see residents having to do their own road works as is the case in
Pfupajena in Chegutu because council has abdicated its duty and the council official even goes
on to shift the blame to the Roads Ministry when it’s clearly council’s duty to fix its roads.
It is unfair to expect residents to religiously pay their bills while councils are usually owed
mostly by big institutions whose bills run into millions of dollars but it is the residents that suffer
most from the poor service delivery.

Instead of councils always mourning about money being owed by rate payers they should be
going after the big institutions that owe them huge amounts and get the money in order to fund
their service delivery.
Councils need to go back to the drawing board this New Year and change the way they do things
and start providing the long-suffering residents adequate services in the form of clean water in
their homes daily, good roads, refuse collection, public lighting, health facilities, schools and
recreational facilities, especially for young people so that they are not drawn to activities such as
drugs and substance abuse.

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