By Yeukai Karengezeka
Scores of Chitungwiza residents and former employees yesterday staged a demonstration at Chitungwiza Town Council head office over poor service delivery and outstanding payments.
The demonstrators said they were tired of perennial sewer pipe bursts, bad road networks, inadequate water supplies and poor refuse collection. They handed over a petition containing their grievances to acting Mayor Gift Tsverere.
Speaking on behalf of the residents, Reverend Ephraim Katsina said they have given council and other relevant offices a 14-day ultimatum to respond to their grievances. “Council is failing to collect refuse regularly in most locations and we are experiencing persistent sewer bursts, which exposes us to water-borne diseases.
“We have poor road networks yet council has been receiving money from Zinara. We want to know where that money has been going to and what it has been used for and by who,” he said.
“We have given Council 14 days to reach to all stakeholders to find a lasting solution to Chitungwiza’s problems,” he said.
Rev Katsina, who is also the president of Chitungwiza Municipal Workers Union, said there was need for transparency in council affairs and the settlement of outstanding statutory obligations.
“We demand to know the salaries of the top managers and workers. We want council to pay back the third party contributions they deducted from employees’ salaries for various service providers such as PSMAS and Nyaradzo.
“We are also demanding that internal auditors be allowed to do their work without harassment from the town clerk and human resources officers.
“Workers are also demanding that council settles their salary arrears spreading over 33 months,” he said. The residents called for an end to the unilateral transfer of workers.
They sought to know what happened to $1,5 million that was allegedly withdrawn from the council’s investment account by former town clerk Mr Godfrey Tanyanyiwa and his administration.
Chitungwiza Old People’s Association COPA representative Mr Pardington Chaparadza said the old people wanted a review of the bills since their pensions were very low.
“Our old people are demanding a review of their bills as they cannot afford to pay their rates and are accumulating debts,” he said.
Efforts to get a comment from council were fruitless as acting Mayor Tsverere and town clerk Dr George Makunde were not in office, while their phones went unanswered. The Herald