By Takudzwa Mangachena
Chitungwiza Municipality must set up more meetings with residents to provide for opportunities for interaction and feedback mechanisms.
This was said during a WASH workshop which turned out to be just the platform Chitungwiza residents needed to engage and interact with their leaders. The residents attacked the councilor with a continuous unrelenting barrage of overdue questions regarding the development of an efficient infrastructure in their community.
According to the residents, the town council is failing to be transparent, responsible and responsive to the needs of citizens as it is failing to repair old, damaged and malfunctioning public systems like roads, public toilets as well as to solve the problem of continuous sewer bursts in the Chitungwiza area.
“There are continuous sewer bursts in our community resulting from old and unrepaired sewer systems resulting in a continuous sewer flow,” said Byron Manyenga a 23 year old from Zengeza.
“There is a perennial sewer flow at the Rufaro Road intersection and this is very insanitary and unhygienic because sometimes you even find children playing barefoot near these sewer flows and they risk contracting all kind of diseases. Flies are everywhere and the rubbish all over isn’t making the situation any better” continued Manyenga.
Other residents complained about inaccessible roads due to potholes most of which are the main roads used by motorists.
“These roads are not only posing a danger to motorists but pedestrians too. This is because motorists now avoid the potholes by going out of the tarred roads into the dust roads that pedestrians use, forcing pedestrians way out of the road in fear for their lives. At one time I even fell into that trench at the side of the road in Mubvumira which had broken glass and I was hurt badly” said Tatenda Matanda.
Public toilets are not functioning well and while they are supposed to be used when you get into that situation you can’t even relieve yourself. Moreover they are becoming stations for drug dealers contributing to a high crime rate in our community, multiple crimes actually, one which is drug dealing and the second committed by some drug abusers who fail to control themselves during the influence from drugs.
Apart from infrastructure, other residents complained about how refuse is being collected only once a week which they said is not enough to maintain a clean and health conducive environment. residents also asked why they are not supplied with plastic bins as since they pay for them.
Councilor Marambakutongwa addressed the multiple complaints posed to him by the residents and held his ground saying that although the council lacks resources to embark on projects that can rectify the infrastructure problem, residents are also not fully playing their part which is paying their monthly bills.
Maramba said that currently the council has managed to engage a Chinese company which is working to solve the sewer problem by repairing and replacing old sewer pipes.
The councilor also pointed out that the Chitungwiza town council is corrupt and other funds may end up being allocated for other purposes that do not benefit Chitungwiza residents.
At the end residents requested that the council should set up more meetings with them so they can get an update on the important issues concerning them and their town and also in that way residents would also find a platform to bring up for discussion the issues affecting them and that are relevant their well being. They also pointed out that the council should plan the meetings ahead and notify them in time for it is their right as citizens.