Wedza Rural District Council has granted a fifty (50%) discount to the residents who owe the council debts for rates. In the same spirit, those who are up to date with their accounts will pay half of their total bills. The move is meant motivate residence to pay their dues to allow the council to meet their expenses including salaries and other service delivery issues. This promotion is going to last for the next three months. This was proposed and seconded at a Full Council meeting conducted recently.

The failure to meet the bills by the residents has mainly been caused by biting economic woes currently bedevilling the country. Residents have also generally lost confidence in the council due to the manner in which it has been operating. The audit report currently produced reveals gross abuse of power, mismanagement and corruption. The expelled former council boss John Kundeya reportedly presided over the mentioned criminal activities.

The council also proposed to make a 6% upward adjustment on the bills to be paid by residents in the forthcoming financial year. The council justified their move by stating the need to cushion themselves from inflation and the 2% tax to be deducted by the government on all transactions made by the council. The budget is set to be advertised by the 29th of November 2018.

Wedza Residents development Initiative Trust (WERDIT), a local residents pressure group and their partner Savanna Trust got an opportunity to make a presentation before the Full Council meeting. They applauded the council for allowing residents to participate in Local Government and Service Delivery issues mainly through the full council meetings and budget consultative meetings. The organisations informed the council that they will be rolling our programs in all the 15 wards to educate the citizens on the need to take an active role in development issues especially service delivery.

Equally they will have capacity building workshops for councillors in light of their constitutional roles and responsibilities. The residents including marginalised groups and diverse interest groups will benefit from this program. Community Dialogue meetings will be used to educate residents on their roles in service delivery, their rights and updates on critical service delivery such as devolution. Utilising the expertise of Theatre for Development from Savanna, theatre will be playing a key role in propping up the residents to meaningfully participate in issues to do with Local Government and Service Delivery. Again theatre will simplify seemingly complex social service delivery.

Source: Wedza Residents Development Initiative Trust