‘Harare bills not to be cancelled’
HARARE – Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda has told residents to forget about cancellation of their bills accumulated between the hyperinflationary environment of 2008 and 2010 period, as demanded by Harare Residents Trust (HRT).
HRT director Precious Shumba, leading about 200 residents, on Tuesday descended on Town House demanding the cancellation of bills falling with that period, improvement in service delivery and timely delivery of statements.
Deputy mayor Emmanuel Chiroto, following a request by the residents to have their bills slashed on Tuesday, on Thursday during the full council meeting, tried to modestly narrate that day’s event saying: “They were not a crowd here to make noise but to present their petition peacefully. I could not give them a position as I realised the issue requires full attention of the House.”
However, mayor Masunda queried the basis on which the bills should be cancelled.
“Taking due cognisance of the representation made, I would like to find out if any of the petitioners had their bills annulled by Econet and Net-one,” Masunda said.
Masunda described Chiroto’s summation as too toned down arguing the crowd was not peaceful.
He said the behaviour displayed by Shumba does not tally with his christian background while some councillors begged the mayor to disregard the petition as they feel resident groups are now usurping their role.
Councillor Herbert Gomba accused resident organisations of being used by the donor community in return for funding and engrossed on the need for council to constantly engage residents.
“Even if we do well they have to criticise because if they clap hands no money will come into their coffers. Who represents residents more? Me or trusts? These trusts have an insatiable appetite to criticise us. The petition should not be considered,” said Gomba.
Masunda however revealed that government has released some money to clear the debt. – Xolisani Ncube and Wendy Muperi