Harare residents are hoping for a better and more fruitful relationship between council and central Government as the new councillors who were recently elected and sworn-in into office begin their tenure.
Peter Tanyanyiwa Suburban Reporter
Residents who spoke to Suburban agreed that service delivery in the last councillors’ tenure failed because of lack of a good working relationship between council and Government.
Mt Pleasant residents singled out the example of the delays in rehabilitating Alpes Road saying council officials did not even know what was going on because there was no collaboration between them and the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development.
The contractor CMED Pvt. Ltd had temporarily stopped the road repairs and resumed approximately one month prior to the elections.
CMED did a huge amount of work, removing the vlei soil and replacing it with gravel. The contractor has now tarred the road from Groombridge Spar to Harare Drive.
Mt Pleasant resident Mr David Panganai said residents are calling for a better working relationship between the Harare Municipality and central Government for the smooth running of projects such as road repairs.
He said Alpes Road was supposed to take only 50 days to be completed but has taken close to eight months attributing the delay to lack of coordination between officials.
“Residents are advocating for a better working relationship between the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development and City of Harare so that the road funds issue can finally be settled for proper planning and implementation purposes. We have for instance the Alpes Road case which took too long to even be looked at and it’s also taking time to be completed by CMED. My question is who is answerable for the day to day maintenance of that road. Residents are also saying devolution funds should be laid bare for everyone to see. Council has to plan and utilise the funds with the concurrence of residents,” he said.
He urged officials to put aside politics and work together for the good of the people and the development of the city.
“Councillors are closer to the residents hence they should humble themselves and accept the oversight role of the central Government.”
Mr Panganai called for openness in the awarding of tenders for major works and robust quality control on road rehabilitation.
“Central Government should have an oversight role. There should be proper supervision to ensure quality delivery and durability of products. Most roads in Harare are in a bad state because of bad quality control yet we have roads constructed in the 70s still in good state. Let’s stop politics on projects and improve the livelihoods of residents,” said Mr Panganai.
Mrs Debbie Swales, who has from time to time mobilised fellow residents to fund the repair of some roads in Mt Pleasant, said she will continue with her community work and hope that the officials in council and Government unite and work together.
“We will do what we can to support our councillors and will continue with our own community service of assisting with road repairs and maintenance. We pray for better coordination between different Government Ministries and the City of Harare,” she said.
Mrs Swales said CMED should work on the drainage on Alpes Road and also put speed humps to deter motorists from speeding since the road now has a smooth surface.
“As for Alpes Road rehabilitation CMED need to put in correct drainage and grade the soil against the edges of the road where there are big drop offs. Not only is this dangerous for vehicles but the edges of the road will be broken in no time as vehicles especially larger trucks and commuter omnibuses will pull off the road at undersigned places destroying the edges. CMED needs to create parking areas where commuter omnibuses can pull off the road. Humps are absolutely necessary as already vehicles are speeding down that road,” said Mrs Swales.