Harare residents’ are objecting to the City of Harare 2020 Supplementary Budget.
A snap survey conducted by Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) in Mufakose, Kambuzuma and Highfields recently, revealed that residents are opposing the supplementary budget.
The key issues coming from the objections are that;
• The increase does not reflect equity and fairness considering that the urban poor reside in High Density areas, the percentage increase for all the charges for High Density areas is higher than for those of low density areas, this needs to be revisited.
• The increase of refuse collection charges come against a backdrop where the City purchased 10 double refuse skip trucks and single skip trucks were delivered and nothing has been done to recover the difference in cost, a cost that has a magnitude to improve refuse collection. Furthermore the City bought 15 refuse compactors in 2015 until now they have not received the trucks, this indicates poor expenditure and performance management. The City must take measures to recover the difference in cost of the wrongly supplied single skip trucks urgently and recover the money for the non-delivered trucks.
• The City of Harare is the major polluter of raw water in Lake Chivero by discharging of raw sewerage through the non-functional Crowborough Sewer Treatment plant and this has necessitated an increase in water treatment cost and this cost emanating from inefficiencies of the Local Authority cannot be borne by residents.
• Increasing tariffs only for two months while we expect another tariff increase in the 2021 budget is unfair hence we call upon the City to come up with an inclusive debt management strategy which we can join hands to recover the City debts .
• The increase of sewer rates is not justified as Harare City Council has not been repairing sewer bursts in residential areas and most residents have resorted to contract private plumbers to attend to sewer bursts.
CHRA calls for Harare City Council to follow and respect Urban Councils Act chapter 29:15 section 219 by considering the objections and revisit the tariffs.
The Urban Councils Act provides for a provision where if objections are lodged “by thirty or more persons who are voters or who are users of the service,” council must reconsider the charges or tariffs.
Source: Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)