By Citizen Reporter
Mutare – The United Mutare Residents and Ratepayers’ Trust (UMRRT) on 16 April 2018 held a press conference at the Wimpy’s Buffalo boardroom to discuss the grievances faced by the residents and to clarify what the residents want the council to do.
Residents’ organisation wrote a letter to the council last week through its organisation lawyer notifying them about the residents embark on rates boycott as a way of forcing council to be accountable.
According to the Director of UMRRT, Bishop Bakare, the city has turned into an abandoned museum with cracked houses which pose danger to the residents. Four households share one room in blocks ward 1and each family pay rates to the council, not only that they use public toilets which are often blocked and residents are forced to clear blockages on their own using logs and sticks without safety clothing.
Bakare bemoaned the behaviour and attitude of council officials who have taken themselves as bosses of the residents when they are supposed to be the servants.Council members have been invited to attend various meetings with the residents but they have never attended even one meeting.
“The residents here are educated and qualified. Some are even more qualified, experienced and educated than council officials “, said Bishop Bakare.
He added that in Murambi East, the residents pay for streetlights but there has not been even a pole to show their efforts and intention to put the lights. Education levies boggles people’s minds as there have not been new schools built nor repaired for a long period.
“The other simple questions that council refuses to answer are how many houses are in Mutare? How much in total do they collect from these houses? And how many are Council leased houses. This is considered by residents as a deliberate ploy to run away from accountability”, said Bakare.
Bakare made it clear that the residents have no intention to bring the council down but to hold them accountable in everything that they do.
“A law firm has been tasked to open a trust account and it is into this account that all rates boycotting residents are expected to deposit their monthly payments instead of paying to council until and unless the residents’ grievances have been addressed”, noted Bakare.
Bishop Bakare urged residents to support rates boycott to force council to deliver and told residents that no one will be disconnected from water supply without a court order.