MUTARE City Council has pledged its commitment towards returning the eastern border city to its former glory as the cleanest and smartest city in Zimbabwe. This has already been evidenced with tangibles on the ground from its first 100 day plans targets from last year.
Last year’s Mayoral 100-day plan programme ran from September 27 up to December 31 charting a new service delivery provision with the aim of restoring ratepayers’ confidence.
Among some of the notable achievements saw the local authority purchase new service delivery vehicles comprising of three refuse trucks, one backhoe loader and four utility vehicles in a bid to improve its refuse collection efficiency in the city and residential areas. The refuse trucks have already improved efficiency on refuse collection, which had become a problem as rubbish dumps we now accumulating from irregular collection especially in the high density suburbs.
Another issue which had long been contentious was that of repairing of street lights especially in the central business district. Mutare Mayor Councilor Blessing Tandi during a recently held Full Council meeting guaranteed ratepayers that this would be a problem of the past.
“Repairing of street lights is now at 83 percent complete meaning 165 lights have been fully completed out of 200. Repairing of other street lights is still in progress and we are sure that we shall complete our target soon,” said the Mayor.
On road maintenance the Mayor said on pothole patching, not much progress was registered due to the foreign currency problems in the country, of which they need it to procure bitumen. He however said they were implementing temporary measures.
“In our plans the resealing of 10km of the road throughout the city, not much progress was registered. We are however implementing temporary measures of putting gravel on the roads to ensure trafficability as we mobilize resources to roll out tar pothole patching at the end of the rain season,” he said.
During the same Full Council meeting the town clerk Joshua Maligwa added that the major challenges which affected the projects were many but chief being the price madness at macro-economic level, which resulted in many suppliers refusing to quote Council for material such as bitumen, cement and other construction material, as prices were constantly changing overnight.
Maligwa blamed the procurement procedures citing that prices were changing fast on the market before approval. The Mayor however underscored that for their projects to come to fruition the real task at hand demanded close collaboration from residents, stakeholders, councilors and council management.
“For recapitalization to continue there is need for residents and stakeholders to play their part continuously through timeous payment of dues among other services rendered. We are committed to meet part of our outstanding 100 day plan projects and through establishing dedicated funds we shall speed up the implementation of the projects,” said Clr Tandi.
The improvement in service delivery by the local authority comes at a time when the nation is expecting a lot from the new despensition government under President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Clr Tandi said the launch of the second phase of the 100 day plans is expected to start this February.
The Mayor said political differences should not impede development and Mutare city would support government developmental programmes.
Most urban councils in Zimbabwe are run by the opposition party, the MDC Alliance. In the past a lot of politicking greatly affected efficiencies of the local authorities, but Clr Tandi said the people had suffered enough at the expense of politics and he would put development first ahead of politics.