Ward 18 residents are running out of patience with the City of Harare as their efforts to help the municipality be able to deliver services are not being reciprocated.
Peter Tanyanyiwa Suburban Reporter
The residents from Borrowdale, Borrowdale Brooke, Helensvale, Greystone Park, Carrick Creagh, Hogerty Hill and surrounding suburbs say that their tolerance has been overstretched.
Through the Borrowdale Ratepayers and Residents Association (BRRA), the residents have been trying to intervene and help the incapacitated City of Harare to be able to revive services.
But their efforts have been hitting brick walls leading many to question the governance within the local authority. BRRA chairperson Mr Robert Mutyasira told Suburban that it appears there is a well-oiled machinery within the corridors of power in the municipality that is constricting the flow of information between the city and its residents.
“We bemoan the disappearance of transparency. Ward 18 residents are not aware of who to give information or who disseminates it. Attempts to reach the information department are rendered futile as one is thrown from one person to the other and finally to the Town Clerk who may or may not respond. Unlike other public institutions such as the ZRP (Zimbabwe Republic Police), where it is known that Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi will communicate on behalf of the police, systems seem to have bolted at CoH,” he said.
Mr Mutyasira said recently residents of Ward 18 woke up to find a busy road in the area, Addington Lane, blocked off for repairs. Residents said there was commotion as motorists attempted to find alternative routes in the morning rush hour.
“Residents on social media groups expressed their disappointment at the lack of courtesy by the city authorities who under normal circumstances should have made it their public relations department’s prerogative to communicate with residents in good time so that those who needed to make alternative plans or re-route their journeys would have had ample time to do so. This poor communication trend borders on arrogance and is inconsistent with best business ethics and practices. At that level, and being a quasi-Government entity, the city should be more open, accessible, responsive and transparent. We want to know if we are going to be receiving water any time soon. We need to be informed of the constraints they are facing that may be inhibiting consistent service delivery. It is not proper to leave your clients in suspense or to speculation.”
The BRRA leader said that their hope is that the well-paid technocrats at Town House will up their act and focus on strategies that will get the city and its departments to work.
“In this day and age silent treatment will not produce results. It will only damage relations and erode public confidence. We have always said there are human capital gaps within the City of Harare.
There are individuals who are resisting change and are holding on to old habits that have been outlived by time. A thorough evaluation is still necessary despite the piecemeal job evaluation exercise conducted by the last council. There are no evident changes to give us confidence that we will begin to experience efficient and effective service. The communication department should be among those targeted for a complete paradigm shift and engage people-centric individuals,” said Mr Mutyasira.