MPORA says decentralisation key to service delivery

12 Aug, 2022 - 00:08 0 Views
MPORA says decentralisation key to service delivery The shopping complex is too close to the road.


Peter Tanyanyiwa Suburban Reporter

THE newly formed Mt Pleasant Owners and Residents Association (MPORA) has stressed the urgent need to decentralise service delivery and all that comes with it.

MPORA members believe that once district offices across the city are allowed to run their own affairs they can be properly assessed and audited.

Mt Pleasant resident and one of the focal people who pushed for the formation of the residents’ association Mr Lance Nkomozepi said it will be easier for accountability if district offices are allowed to run their own affairs and focus on localised development. 

He said the one size fits all system has failed residents as they have issues in Mt Pleasant that are unique to their neighbourhood and may not apply to other districts.

“The district offices are doing their best under the circumstances. The challenge where we believe the services are lacking is the governance side of the city where decisions are being made for a greater Harare and not for a specific district.  For example, one of our roads is in a sorry state because it’s used by heavy vehicles ferrying quarry and all the dump trucks of the city (going to Pomona dumpsite). Such projects to rehabilitate and widen a road like Alpes need to be prioritised before Lunar Road in Borrowdale from Crowhill, Horgerty Hill to a quite stretch leading to Umwinsidale. That’s one example. Therefore, we feel as residents that the sooner we get decentralised the better. In that system it’s easier to measure the performance of our district office. That way the districts are accountable and the priorities are distinctive,” said Mr Nkomozepi.

In his State of the City Address (SOCA), Harare Mayor Councillor Jacob Mafume also acknowledged the fact that Harare had grown and could no longer be administered from one central point.

Cllr Mafume, who represents Ward 17 in council under which MPORA falls, said decentralisation requires capacitation in terms of the workers’ skills, plant and equipment.  

“Decentralisation of service delivery: The city has grown and cannot be administered from the centre. What this calls for is the empowerment of the district officers so that they can play their roles fully in terms of ensuring services are closer to the people. My council will be pursuing this with a view of ensuring that the local district offices are able to provide solutions to the service delivery problems in our city. This requires capacitation in terms of human resources, plant and equipment and the skills,” he said in his SOCA delivered two weeks ago at Harare House in Gunhill.

Mr Nkomozepi said residents have a lot of questions over certain new developments and the prioritisation of service delivery provision but they have no one to turn to as many of the decisions are made at Town House not at the ward’s district office.

“We have questions about how some of the decisions are made in the area. But you would find some approvals on developments are done in town (at Cleveland House) and we do not know how much due diligence was done in the processes. There is a property on Alpes Road, the same road I mentioned as a busy thoroughfare. This double storey property is being built beyond the building lines not leaving any provision for the border or road expansion. It’s encroaching on the border of the road. One wonders how such oversight (can be) on the part of the inspectors, who these are and why a property is allowed to be so close to the road? These and other illegal developments are affecting our community but are being approved elsewhere. We need all these decisions made locally under one roof, so we can object. What is the probability of a sitting district officer and a localised team going about authorising such a project without knowledge of the residents?” questioned Mr Nkomozepi.

The double storey building, which is a shopping complex, being built at the corner of Teviotdale and Granta close to Alpes Road in Vainona has ignited fierce debate among residents of Ward 17 who are questioning the legality of the structure

A foreman with the building contractor, Otiman Jays Construction, Mr Lovejoy Mubaiwa, said the development was approved. 

Mr Mubaiwa, however, said they had to temporarily stop construction in the initial stages due to an outcry from residents when they established that the front of building was on the side facing the road.

He said they had to change side, the front of the building will be facing, and put it at the back where there is space for parking.

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