By Itai Muzondo
MASVINGO-Resident Associations in and around Masvingo have expressed worry over delayed disbursement of road levy funds which are meant to upgrade the dilapidated roads in and around the ancient city.
Masvingo City Council implemented a three dollars road levy which they collected from every ratepayer in the ancient city with the intention of using the money to rehabilitate roads which are in a sorry state by the end of June. The program aimed to raise US$270 000.
In an exclusive interview with Radio VOP, Masvingo Residents Trust (MRT) Chairperson, Prosper Tiringindi said by this time, this month, the city council would have shamed the devil by simply disbursing funds to the engineering department to fulfil what they promised ratepayers upon implementing the hefty road levy to their monthly water bills.
“MRT actually thought for once Masvingo City Council would shame the devil and do as they had promised to the community at large to which are the burdened ratepayers. The promise was simple, they said they would collect road levy for six months and thereafter renovate roads and they seem to be failing to do so now that the time is due.
“By now we expected that they would have given us information that the collected money is at the engineers department and work is ready to be done though surprisingly the city fathers have remained mum as if they raised the money on their own and for their personal purposes,” said Tiringindi.
Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers Association (MURRA) Coordinator, Anoziva Muguti further expressed concern as they said they were quite worried as they do not even know how much was raised and how they are going to use it. He further blasted the city council as unorganised and said they have not yet met their agreement with resident associations as they have not yet forwarded the roads to be rehabilitated.
“It is quite worrying that until now we do not know how much has been raised by council. Our earlier agreement was that by now we should know which roads are on preference in terms of rehabilitation so that we can monitor the progress.
“The money has to be put to good use considering that some residents paid this money through the nose,” expressed Muguti.
Immediately after the recent full council meeting Masvingo Mayor Hubert Fidze said the issue of putting road levy to use will be considered as soon as council sits and passes resolutions and further disclosed that the money collected at the moment was close to the anticipated US$270 000.
Fidze outlined council’s intentions to start pulling up a facelift for the city’s roads which have been for long been publicised as being in a sorry state after which the service provider is to reach the deadline upon collecting the controversial three dollars road levy in the past six months from residents.
“The road rehabilitation issues are currently in motion as resolutions will be definitely passed in the upcoming full council meeting which will urge that resuscitation progress commence.
“Currently what we have is close to the expected target of US$270 000 though I do not have the actual figures,” said Fidze.
Meanwhile, Mavingo City Council has currently faced criticism from residents of Rujeko high density suburb as they have since gone for three days without running water.
Mayor Fidze has since apologised and said that council has had a great challenge with upholding Rujeko water pipes and further expressed that they have already commissioned a US$30 000 project to resolve the water woes that have affected the suburb for a while now.
“As council we are very sorry of the inconvenience caused though council is working hard to resolve the long going problem with Rujeko water pumping system. We have since allocated US$30 000 to effectively deal with the problem so that safe water is continuously accessed,” explained Fidze.