Harare residents are up in arms with their councilors for failing to engage with them on issues of service delivery as well as approving resolutions that have left them at the mercy of debt collectors.
During community meetings held by the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) in Glen Norah, Glen View and Mufakose, the residents also blasted the councilors for being dodgy whenever they are invited to meetings to discuss such issues as debt collection and poor service delivery.
Harare City Council officials and councilors turned down invitations to attend the community meetings held in Glen Norah, Glen View and Mufakose.
The residents complained that it was unacceptable for councilors as elected representatives to fail to represent the interests of the people who elected them into office.
“As people whom we elected into office, we do not expect the councilors to behave in an anti-people manner. In 2014, they resolved that council should engage private debt collectors against defaulters and this has left us at the mercy of debt collectors who are threatening us with imprisonment or attachment of property. That behavior is anti-people as the councilors are failing to realize that residents have been victims of the economic collapse in Zimbabwe,” said a Glen View resident, Marcus Hunda.
The Harare City Council has engaged the services of Wellcash (Pvt) (Ltd) debt collectors on the justification that the move would compel residents who owe council to pay their debts.
Following the move, CHRA has been holding a series of meetings around Harare educating residents in the illegality of debt collection in Zimbabwe.
A Mufakose resident Flora Mahunde said as residents, they felt their interests were not properly being represented by councilors.
“Service delivery is very low and water supply is quite erratic yet the councilors do not want to come and address us on these issues. We do not feel like we are being represented because everything that the councilors are approving seems to be going against our wishes,” said Mahunde.
Glen Norah residents said that in light of the challenge, it was necessary for residents to organize themselves and use available channels such as residents associations to make sure their interests are well represented.
“What I have realized is that it is only us residents who can be able to stand for our interests. We therefore need to organize ourselves and work with associations that are able to represent our interests,” said a resident, Farai Pfukwa.
The Combined Harare Residents Association has reaffirmed its continued support for residents and challenged the Harare City Council to reduce mega salaries for top council executives and prioritize service delivery.
City of HarareCombined Harare Residents Association