GWERU residents are set for a major showdown with the local authority following its rejection of a proposal by rate payers to stagger the implementation of the 2021 budget.
Residents had written a letter to the local authority, seeking a reprieve on the implementation of the budget which had seen most households receiving bills that are four-fold the rates they were paying last year.
In a recent notice, City of Gweru Acting Town Clerk, Vakai Chikwekwe announced that resident’s request had been denied.
“Reference is made to your letter to His Worship the Mayor Councilor Josiah Makombe dated 9 March 2021. The matter was deliberated. Your request was regrettably not accepted by council,” wrote Chikwekwe.
Quoting the aforementioned letter, Gweru residents and Ratepayers Association (GRRA) in a press statement wrote that it was time for residents take up the issue at a personal level.
“…we hoped that, they (councilors) would listen to residents’ plea of implementing the budget in phases starting at 50% of the approved budget. We sincerely explained to the Mayor that the mandatory shutdown of all non-essential businesses induced by COVID-19 has led to current financial hardship…
“…the regret letter shows no justifiable reasons, lacks sincerity from the local authority. Therefore, as residents of this city it’s time for us to put this situation into our own hands,” the press statement reads.
Masvingo city Council is also in a similar situation where residents are lamenting hike in rates and have also gone to seek audience with City Fathers.