March 30, 2021

Gweru rejects proposal to cut rates

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Munashe Mukahlera

Residents of Zimbabwe’s third largest city, Gweru have to dig deeper into their pockets to pay for services. This is after the local authority turned down their request to have rates reduced.

Gweru City Council recently increased rates in a move that will see residents in high density suburbs such as Mkoba paying up to three thousand Zimbabwe dollars a month.

Residents in low density suburbs will pay up to 11 thousand dollars in monthly rates. Council spokesperson, Vimbai Chingwaramusee explained to ZTN why council rejected the residents’ request.

“Unfortunately as the local authority we cannot approve the proposal coming from some residents that they want the bills to be slashed. We are using the approved 2021 budget and it becomes law when the ministry of local government approves it and the minister already approved it. As a local authority we need to get revenue for us to ensure the provision of quality services,” she said.

The residents feel hard done by the local authority and say their plight was not considered in the decision to hike rates. Executive director of the Gweru residents and ratepayers association Cornelius Selipiwe justified why they approached council to slash rates.

“Our local authority is just heartless and dangerous to the community of Gweru. Our local authority is inconsiderate because all we were saying is that they should implement this budget staggeringly.

People are just coming out of lockdown and they are imposing a tariff hike of 146%.

“Our water was even hiked by over 400%. We were simply asking our local authority to be more accommodative and review the budget.”

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