Informed and empowered: HRT

The recent Harare Residents’ Trust meeting revealed several pressing concerns felt by locals relating to service delivery in the capital.

In the area of water, supply is erraticwith 75 percent of the households complaining about dysfunctional meters that produce inaccurate bills. Residents did, however, commend the City of Harare for replacing some of the meters in the area. With regard to refuse collection, locals complaining about the inconsistent refuse collection schedules and the ongoing issue of rubbish being dumped in open spaces.

The issue of local transport was raised, with commuter omnibuses being targetted for charging double the rate during peak periods.

“Normally they charge commuters 50c per trip but they raise it to $1 during peak hours when people trek home after a hard day’s work,” said a report issued after the meeting. “They have no option but to pay the fare which they say is exorbitant.”

Load shedding continues to cause problems across the city, with many residents forced to buy firewood and paraffin as an alternative. The issue of housing was also raised, with many voicing concerns that extensions built without title deeds have been labeled illegal by the council. Participants at the meeting said when some of them made follow-ups on the title deeds, they were advised thathaving title deeds meant that one had ownership of the house and not the stand on which the house is built. Parents in the community complained that they cannot afford fees being charged by local schools. Dzivarasekwa 5 High School charges parents’ interest on overdue fees. Parents are also being charged for extra lessons on top of the fees that have been gazetted by the government. – [email protected]

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