The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) on Thursday, May 18, 2017 held a training workshop meant to educate residents from the high density suburb of Glen View on tax justice issues.

A total of 30 residents, including CHRA’s community coordinators, participated in the training programme.

The objective of the training programme was to capacitate residents to actively participate in advocacy programmes that will result in effective service delivery arising from tax justice.

During the training programme, residents highlighted that poor service delivery largely emanates from misappropriation of public funds as well as lack of consultation by city officials.

In their submissions during the training workshop, residents noted with concern that the Harare City council had unleashed debt collectors to collect money owed by residents yet the amounts the residents are reported to be owing council are largely contested.

The residents also highlighted that they had lost their cash to the debt collectors (Wellcash Debt Collectors) who are charging an extra 10 percent on top of what the residents owe council.

Some of the residents highlighted that they had paid huge amounts of money to the debt collectors yet the money was not deducted from their council bills.

This, the residents said, was an indication that Wellcash Debt Collectors was not remitting the money it would have collected.

The residents said a debt audit was critical adding that communities needed to mobilize and put in place monitoring mechanisms to ensure transparency and accountability in the use of public funds.

Participants at the workshop also highlighted that the deterioration of public services was an indication that tax justice was largely lacking hence the need for residents to step up and hold authorities to account.

Action plans agreed during the workshop also included continuous engagement with city officials and other elected representatives as a way of ensuring transparency, accountability and effective service delivery.

Participation of residents in issues of local governance was also highlighted as being crucial in ensuring that tax justice prevails.

The residents also proposed taking the legal route in light of the several challenges arising from the lack of tax justice.

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