Masvingo Residents Forum on Tuesday 22 September 2020 requested an opportunity to obtain a copy of memorandum of understanding (MOU) from Masvingo City Council signed between Masvingo City Council, Land Developers and Masvingo Rural District Council for the development of Victoria Ranch suburbs in 2011. The MOU describes the commitments made by both parties which include how and when development of infrastructure and provision of services in Victoria Ranch was going to be conducted. Over 7 000 people reside in Victoria Ranch where there is absence of running water, poorly constructed gravel roads, and ecosan toilets which included high maintenance and strong smells produced by incorrect use of the urine diversion system and lack of space.
Since 2012 when people started to live in Victoria Ranch, no refuse collection takes place and there has been no maintenance of roads. The residents are in the dark on who is supposed to provide services in Victoria Ranch. On a radio program hosted by Masvingo Residents Forum at Hevoi FM, Masvingo City Mayor – Councilor Maboke, highlighted that it is not their duty to provide services to Victoria Ranch residents and on the other hand Masvingo RDC argued that they did not have a mandate to provide services. Victoria Ranch was built by land barons on Masvingo Rural District Council (RDC) land ward 7 while Masvingo city council monitored the construction of infrastructure in the area. For the past years Victoria Ranch residents rely on a few boreholes dotted around the area and residents are blaming the Masvingo City Council for water shortages, lack of refuse collection, lack of sewer infrastructure, and dusty road network. On education, only a few private colleges exist and they are owned by the same land developers. There are no health centres in Victoria Ranch, thus forcing residents to walk long distances to get medical attention.
The MOU contains public information required by the residents of Victoria Ranch, which include responsibilities of the agreeing parties hence the residents will be able to interact with service providers. The MOU will contribute significantly to the development and provision of sewer and water services in Victoria Ranch. The information will enable Victoria Ranch residents to demand and advocate for proper service delivery to their local authority. It also helps the Victoria Ranch residents to actively participate and monitor in policy planning and budgeting processes.
Source: Masvingo Residents Forum