Harare residents stage walkout over Council ‘tardiness’

A group of representatives from Harare residents’ associations on Wednesday staged a mass walkout during a City Council meeting, to “send a message” about how the Council treats the organisations.

The budget consultative meeting, which had been scheduled to take place at 10 am on Wednesday, failed to go ahead after the walkout.

Simbarashe Moyo, chairman of the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA), who was present at the meeting, said the walkout was a reaction to the fact that Council officials arrived an hour late.

“We as residents associations made the unanimous decision to walk out and the reason why is because we realised once again that the Council officials don’t take us seriously,” Moyo told SW Radio Africa.

He said they wanted to “send a clear message” that the attitude being displayed by the Council towards residents is unacceptable.

“Last week they did the same thing when they had called us for a meeting on prepaid water meters. We feel cheated,” said Moyo.

CHRA has previously taken aim at the Council for a lack of effective communication with the residents’ groups, on issues like water availability, health matters and refuse collection.

Moyo said the tardiness displayed by the Council officials is all part of the same problem.

“It just seems like the problem is continuing, and we are still being treated like snake-holders, not stakeholders,” Moyo said.

The budget meeting has been rescheduled to Friday. – SW Radio Africa

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