A HARARE City Council official has cleared the air on the Marlborough street lights repairs saying the municipality will cater for all roads with existing infrastructure.
Peter Tanyanyiwa Suburban Reporter
The official’s response followed concerns that council would cover only 25 roads.
Some Marlborough residents accused former Ward 41 Mrs Kudzai Kadzombe of hijacking the street lights project and giving directives to council employees on which roads to repair and not repair the street lights.
Residents had complained and questioned why the former Ward 41 councillor was still giving updates to residents, as she had done on this case by updating residents that the street lights repairs will commence on October 1.
The residents were also worried that some council officials appeared bent on misleading them by colluding with politicians and taking instructions from recalled councillors.
“If a council employee misleads residents and continues to obey recalled councillors then it means their allegiance is to MDC and politicians instead of ratepayers who pay their salaries.
“And that is where the rot starts. And that compromises service delivery. So we want Engineer Chigariro to explain why he is contacting Kudzai (Kadzombe) who is not our community representative and what their relationship is based on,” said a resident.
No comment could be obtained from Engineer Calvin Chigariro who was quoted in the story published last week.
But speaking on condition of anonymity, a Town House-based official said council does not take directives from anyone but only works according to their plans.
“Our repairs are targeting all roads with existing infrastructure.
“As council we don’t take any instructions from anyone we work according to our planning. And the plan is to maintain Marlborough lights during the month of October. And hopefully improve safety in the neighbourhood.
“Residents will be seeing our teams in their areas as the month progresses. We don’t want to be associated with politics as we are just council employees and our role is service provision,” said the official.
Added Dr Shelton Banner, a Marlborough resident: “Council promised residents that they are doing all roads with existing infrastructure. Earlier reports which suggested that council will only do 25 roads in the ward and four roads per area are not true.”
When contacted for comment, Mrs Kadzombe said the street lights repairs were an ongoing project and when she gave the update she was just inquiring on service delivery efforts just as any other resident.
She said she felt she had to update residents as she is still a community leader who is still respected in the ward.
“There has always been a community leader in me since my high school, I was a Junior Member of Parliament, a head girl, and fast forward to my adult life I was the secretary for Marlborough Environment Action Group. I was also the vice chairperson for Harare Residents’ Alliance.
“My point here is there has always been a community leader in me, but currently I am not acting as an official but a concerned resident, I also encourage other residents to reach out to the officials and push for development,” she said.
She said there is no efficient communication channel in the ward that can reach the ordinary resident encouraged other residents to also inquire about service delivery.
“As a concerned resident, I reach out to the officials, just like any other resident can do and should do. We cannot relax, we should always keep the officials on their toes, we need service delivery to improve,” said Mrs Kadzombe.
On the 25 roads that she had mentioned in the Suburban story that had been selected for repair of street lights, she said she was reliably informed that this was an ongoing project that will be in different phases.
She said she had only mentioned what will be done in the initial stages, but all roads in the end should have working street lights.
Ms Rutendo Madziwa, who is representing Marlborough East, on the street lights project said the repairs have started in the area and residents have an excellent working relationship with council.
“I have been liaising with council and the team on the ground working on street lights in the Marlborough East area and we have an excellent working relationship with them.
“They have already done Sherwood, Sawley Close and are making good progress though this has been hampered by incessant power failure. The City Engineer has assured us that all roads in that area will be done,” she said.
Last year, the Marlborough East Neighbourhood Watch raised money to buy materials that council used to fix street lights for three roads in that area and have developed a good working relationship with the municipality since then.