HRT calls for collective approach

HARARE The Harare Residents Trust (HRT) has called for a collective approach in its drive to throw off the dictates of a powerful local authority.

Eunice Wakatama, the Chairperson of HRT, in a recent statement, urged residents to demand their rights without compromise and to continue to hold elected representatives and service providers accountable. Secretary Paddington Mugova commended ward councillors in Highfield, especially councillor Katsande, for thier preparedness to work closely with residents. He said councillors had recruited people to clear drainages in Highfield.

Mugova also drew attention to the sewage problems in most parts of Highfield that pose a serious risk for the spread of cholera. He expressed concern over suspicions that money donated by WHO and UNICEF to combat cholera had been misused or diverted to personnel and administration.

“We were made to understand that there was US$6, 000 to be spent on community workshops to educate residents on cholera,” he said in a statement. “Now the excuse is that there is no money and we suspect, with genuine concern that the money has been spent for other purposes. Residents have been the biggest losers in this project. There is lack of transparency and accountability.”

Another issue raised by the trust was residents inability to pay in full and on time the exorbitant water, electricity and rates bills which kept accumulating. Some greedy landlords are demanding around US$70 for a small room from lodgers. In this economic climate, very few people could afford such high rates and the Rent Board should become involved, read the statement.

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