On 05 October 2020 Masvingo Residents Forum received the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Masvingo City Council, land developers and Nemwa Rural District Council regarding the development of Victoria Ranch. The Masvingo Residents Forum on Tuesday 22 September 2020 had requested an opportunity to obtain a copy of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) from Masvingo City Council. Masvingo Residents Forum welcomes the decision by Masvingo City Council to share the document however the MOU signed in 2011, is yet to answer the residents’ plea on who is supposed to provide services in Victoria Ranch. The MOU was signed 2011 highlighting that Masvingo Rural District Council shall request to waiver its rights over Victoria Ranch in light of the incorporation of the area into the commonage of Masvingo City Council within a transition period of two years. A period of two years has lapsed eight years back; hence the city of Masvingo should explain to the residents the engagements and other commitments that could have been happening since 2011 up to date regarding development in Victoria Ranch.
The City of Masvingo should be open enough to provide adequate information to the residents so that Victoria Ranch residents will be able to demand service delivery to the right provider either Nemanwa Rural District Council, Masvingo City Council or the developers in the area. Since 2013 when people started to live in Victoria Ranch, no services were being provided, all the key stakeholders Masvingo City council, Nemanwa Rural district and developers shifting blame on each other.
A health time bomb is ticking in Victoria where over 40 000 residents are at risk of contracting diseases such as cholera, typhoid owing to water shortage and absence of proper ablution facilities. As it stands Masvingo City Council, Nemanwa Rural district council and Land developers in Victoria Ranch seem not to care. Few households connected with tapped water from Masvingo City council have more than six months without receiving any drop. The City of Masvingo that provides few households in Victoria with water is still struggling to supply water to its population of ten wards.
Masvingo Residents Forum observed that in Victoria Ranch there are two groups of residents in which some have titles deeds from Masvingo City Council and some have granted offer letters from Masvingo Rural District Council. It thereby unleashes that Masvingo City Council has to be blamed for not providing services to people with title deeds. All in all for the purpose of public information towards the development of Victoria Ranch is crucial for the attainment of documents signed between 2011 and 2020 towards issues that happened in the course of the year since the service delivery of the area is in a dire place.
As Masvingo Residents Forum, we will keep engaging Masvingo City Council, Nemanwa RDC and Developers in Victoria Ranch to access correct information and this will help residents to make their decisions based on correct data, to combat corruption and mismanagement of public funds, to detect violations and protect rights and it establishes and supports the democratic and participatory practice of governance.
Source: Masvingo Residents Forum