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CHIRRA Petitions DA

Written by Henry Madakadze   

CHIRRA PetitionLast week in Chiredzi on the 13th of June 2012, we saw a peaceful demonstration conducted by the Chiredzi Residents and Ratepayers Association (CHIRRA). The objective was to administer a petition to the District Administrator (DA), Ms Muzenda. The demonstrators marched from Chiredzi Town Council escorted by the ZRP. CHIRRA clearly outlined that the demonstration was completely non-political and that it was meant to address burning issues from the residents of Chiredzi town. Speakers took turns to deliberate the areas of concern.

The issue of service delivery took priority. The Chairperson of CHIRRA voiced his concern regarding our water supply. He voiced that water shortages could lead to a lot of problems like Cholera and other waterborne diseases. He further explained that if a Cholera outbreak was to hit Chiredzi, many people would be affected. The health of the general public was said to be in great danger.

Next in line was the issue of Chiredzi Town Council worker salaries:

  • People have not been paid, yet councillors have apparently been allocated Travel and Subsistence to the tune of US$6,000 - $8,000 for the Trade Fair in Bulawayo and other "fancy" functions they go to.
  • The Town Council evidently purchased vehicles for councillors, but these seem to be used as personal transport. The argument was that they should be clearly identified as council vehicles, e.g. Engineering Dept.
  • During the change of currency for council bills from Rand to US$, confusion over the exchange rate has meant that bills are exorbitant and ratepayers are finding it very hard to pay up their outstanding balances. This has caused mayhem to low income-earning families.
  • It was claimed that Chiredzi Town Council owns Shamwari Lodge which is in the high density suburbs. CHIRRA proposed that council should use income from there to pay workers instead of distressing ratepayers & residents of the community.

Another concern that has been on the table for a long time is that of recreation. CHIRRA admitted that youths have nowhere to go for recreation as council has failed to maintain the library, tennis courts, netball courts and swimming pool. All of which could also work as income generating projects for the Council.

Next the tendering system came under scrutiny as it seemed dubious. There was a reference case of a 1973 grader that was bought from Mkwasine Estates, refurbished in Messina and then resold to the council by one of the councillors for over $100,000. CHIRRA argued that this could be corruption or insider dealings. Further, it appears that there was a time when Town Council exchanged stands for cars. It was asked if the cars benefited the community or were they used for personal purposes by top ranked people in the Town Council administration?

It has been some time since the introduction of ZINARA apportioned funds for road maintenance but little has been achieved. Major roads like Msasa Road and Lion Drive are deplorable and the council is doing nothing about them. The Association argued that efforts should be made by council to at least try to service these major roads.

Flea market traders complained that there are no toilets and no water—a situation which might lead to a Cholera outbreak. They also sited that dusty conditions are the norm for each day. Also, residents who were allocated new stands are yet to see utilities put in place.

In concluding their demonstration, the Chairperson of the Association emotionally advised the DA to resolve these issues. He said that these challenges especially of water and sanitation were a ticking time-bomb to another deadly outbreak of Cholera and many other diseases.

The crowd attending was satisfied with the demonstrations and issues raised. Many applauded CHIRRA saying that it was due time for a petition like that to be handed over to the District Administrator. Some voiced out that nothing was going to change whilst others were optimistic of what the future holds.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 June 2012
 

Comments 

 
0 #2 christopher 2012-06-21 14:38
:-|
 
 
0 #1 christopher 2012-06-21 14:34
twaas about time somebody stood up for the poor people of Tshovani. nzvimbo yedu yakasaririra chose.
 
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