…as residents reject proposed USD$10 debt payment Plan
Simbarashe Fenton M
In a dramatic turn of events, Redcliff residents have rejected the proposed household USD$10 payment meant to cushion the hefty Kwekwe City outstanding debt and leverage a lifeline for water supply.
Residents who spoke on the mayor’s platform rejected an agreement arrived at during a stakeholder meeting held at the Civic center recently. The town council hoped that the temporary USD$10 measure would go a long way in convincing Kwekwe City to continue rendering its water services while placing its house in order.
“Reality is residents will be forced to pay USD$10 and it (council) make sure they will collect it through other means, but water problems will not disappear it will be there and it will be with us for a very long time for those who will be lucky to be alive in the next decade. I am not anti-development but it is just being realistic,” said a resident, who cannot be named on confidentiality grounds.
Residents continued to question the integrity of the council and its ability to proffer solutions on service provision issues because there is nothing much to celebrate.
“We paid the USD$10 sometime back and nothing changed, we will see how it goes because we are not moving forward but on a roundabout. If people were buying water as we are doing maybe they would consider the Kwekwe issue,” emphasised another disgruntled resident.
Redcliff Mayor Clayton Masiyatsva however argued that the USD$10 household payment issue is a temporal measure being brought by the council with an intention to give Kwekwe City the reigns to administer all water services, which some see as a non-starter.
“The USD$10 is a temporal measure, our main proposal is to give Kwekwe City the administration of water for now whilst we put our house in order. We need water 24/7 and it should only not be available if one does not pay,” said Cllr Masiyatsva.
However, residents were quick to argue that this is not a time for temporary measures, but there is a need for everlasting solutions to be provided such that the issue of water scarcity is dealt with.
“Everything they are doing is temporary whereas we need a permanent solution to the water crisis. Service should be the first thing to happen then residents pay their bills freely and not the other way round. Kwekwe is an expensive shortcut, I hear that in Mbizo they are paying as high as RTGS$40 000,” said one Baba Dee.
“Ini am willing to pay under one condition kana ndawana tsanangudzzo dzikuti sei team iri risingadi permanent solution especially yema submissive pumps ano feeder main drainage (I am willing to pay under the condition that the council explains why they cannot find a permanent solution, for example, if they consider the issue of submissive pumps that provide to the main drainage),” asked another resident.
The issue of water scarcity continues to affect Redcliff residents who feel the council is clueless in terms of finding a permanent solution that will benefit everyone.