Diana Nherera Suburban Reporter
A number of issues ranging from drug abuse, land invasions and service delivery dominated Ward 16 and Ward 41 residents’ feedback meetings at the weekend.
Vending, refuse collection, illegal dumping and water were among service delivery issues the separate meetings discussed.
Ward 16 is one of the worst affected areas in Harare when it comes to the invasion of greenways and open spaces by home-seekers.
The Ward 16 meeting held at Haig Park Primary School on Sunday heard that land barons were taking advantage of the fact that once someone has built a house at an illegal stand, it requires a High Court order to eject them and demolish their structure.
So people go ahead to build knowing that the council will not demolish the structures without a court order.
Ward 16 Councillor Denford Ngadziore said there is need to form a committee on greenways and open spaces given the magnitude of invasions.
He said land barons are using their political connections.
“We don’t know who they are but they use their political connections to manouvre,” said Cllr Ngadziore.
At the Ward 41 meeting held on Saturday at Marlborough District Office, Councillor Kudzai Kadzombe who is also the deputy mayor for Harare said the community must unite to achieve what is in the best interest of the ward.
“There is a need for the community to come together, remove political jackets and any other interests not in the interest of Ward 41.
“As a community, if we do not pull together in one direction, you will see five years will fly past without us achieving anything,” said Cllr Kadzombe.
She said the drug abuse scourge is one of the issues requiring the unity of the ward to tackle.
Cllr Kadzombe said the Marlborough Civic Centre, Elizabeth Windsor and Lumvuma Road were drug havens where young women and men are destroying their lives.
In Area D in Westgate and in Tynwald North drugs were being sold at some tuck-shops.
Cllr Kadzombe said despite council collecting refuse twice a month, residents continue to dump garbage in open spaces.
Harare West Member of Parliament Ms Joana Mamombe spoke about the role of Parliament and her appointment as the chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Environment, Climate, Wildlife, Tourism and Hospitality.
She said Parliament is now in the budget season and Cabinet Ministers will be presenting their budget bids and MPs look at the expenditures and revenues in the past year in order for appropriate funds to be allocated for 2024.
Ms Mamombe said she requires the constituents’ maximum participation and contribution in order to push for their vision and the challenges they are facing in Parliament.
She said in the last parliamentary term, boreholes were drilled in Ward 16 while a waste management centre was established in Ward 41 using the Constituency Development Fund.