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Residents frustrated by service delivery neglect

REGIS CHINGAWO IN MASVINGO

Residents of Masvingo’s newest residential suburb, Victoria Ranch, have been left frustrated by the local authorities’ failure to provide services amid concern the uncollected garbage could expose them to diseases, Business Times can report.

There is confusion, however, as to which council—the Masvingo City Council or Masvingo Rural District Council—is supposed to serve the Victoria Ranch suburb, which was established after land barons sold residential stands to more than 15,000 residents.

Residents told Business Times this week garbage has not been collected for a long time now, exposing them to diseases.

The situation has also been exacerbated by water crisis and poor road network.

“Masvingo City Council and Masvingo Rural District Council must clarify who must give service delivery to the residents.

Victoria Ranch residents have been short-changed for a long time,” said Masvingo Residents Forum chairperson, Brighton Ramusi, adding, there was no refuse collection and residents are using Blair toilets as ablution facilities.

“There is acute water shortage while some residents have not been connected to water supplies and the boreholes installed cannot cater for the population.

“We need answers from the two local authorities.”

A resident of the suburb, Julia Matenga said residents do not know where to give complaints.

“We have suffered for a long time.

If we go to Masvingo City council they instruct us to go to Masvingo Rural District Council at Nemamwa Growth Point.

If we go to Masvingo Rural District Council, we are referred back to Masvingo City Council.

“We are living in an unforgotten world,” Matenga said.

Other residents also say the other problem was the dump site where the local authority dumps refuse for the whole of Masvingo city, which is closer to their homes, thereby exposing them to chronic illnesses.

“It’s bad for our health,” one resident said.

Another problem, residents said was that there were no schools in their area resulting in children walking to Francis Aphiri School for primary education and Ndarama Secondary School which is about five kilometers away.

Masvingo mayor councillor Collin Maboke told Business Times that the area falls under the jurisdiction of Masvingo Rural District Council which then has the mandate to give them or improve service delivery.

“The suburb falls under Masvingo Rural District Council.

The residents, particularly those in the Zexcom area who illegally connected water supplies, pay water bills to Masvingo Rural, the same local authority is

the one which collects refuse, and it is also the one which must maintain the road network. The issue is that this local authority is not fulfilling its mandate,” Maboke said.

On the relocation of the dump site, Maboke said plans are in the pipeline once the local authority’s 2021 budget is approved by the government.

“We have secured land for the new dump site and once our 2021 budget is approved by the government, we are definitely going to relocate the dumpsite,” Maboke said.

Masvingo Rural District Council chief executive officer Martin Mubviro said it was the responsibility of the land developers who sold residential stands to residents to improve the sewer reticulation system, improve the road network and provide other service deliveries.

“It is the responsibility of the land developers to provide service delivery to residents once that is done, they will hand over the services to the local authorities-that is the Memorandum of Understanding we signed with Masvingo City Council in 2013,” Mubviro said.

Goddard Dunira, one of the main developers in the suburb said plans are in the pipeline to rehabilitate the road network in the area. 1

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