Salaries, service delivery top priority: Mutoti

The new Chitungwiza town council plans to end water shortages, improve service delivery and retire a nine-month staff salary debt as a priority, according to Philip Mutoti, the new mayor.

Mutoti told The Zimbabwean that dealing with the nine month workers’ salary debt would motivate staff to deliver an improved service to residents and ratepayers.

“I will ensure all workers are paid what is owed them by council as a matter of urgency,” said Mutoti.

Mutoti said since the government scrapped bills owed council by residents, the local authority would approach the Ministry of Local Government for additional help to pay the salary arrears.

Water shortages have dogged the town for more than a decade. Mutoti said the solution was to rely less on Harare and develop new sources of water.

“There is no way Mutoti would ignore the water crisis on his door step,” said a resident, Joyce Mhembere. Mutoti cited the expansion of Prince Edward Dam, tapping water from the Nyatsime River and the building of Chihota Dam as options.

“Chitungwiza has the potential to have its own water treatment plant,” Mutoti said, a view shared by town clerk, George Makunde. Chitungwiza needs over 45 mega litres of water daily, but Harare only supplies 30 mega litres, or sometimes less.

The situation has forced residents to dig shallow wells in their back garderns. The town’s water and sewer reticulation infrastructure will be upgraded to meet the demands of an evergrowing population, said Mutoti.

To solve accommodation problems, Mutoti and Mushangwe concurred that they would mobilise resources and service vast tracts of land, for both residential and commercial purposes.

Corrupt land allocations will be curbed through strict adherence to the housing waiting list made up of residents with paid up lodgers’ cards. The previous council was notorious for corrupt land allocations.

The two civic leaders said they had plans to turn Chitungwiza from its “dormitory status” to a modern city and an upmarket investment centre. With an abundant human resource, Chitungwiza urgently needs a shift in focus and structural realignment.

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