Profiling Chitungwiza’s aspiring leaders to promote informed voting and capable leaders in 2018 general elections
ALBERT MASAKA is a born again Christian who has more than 20 years’ experience in the media industry. “As a result of his faith and profession I have a passion to make the world a better place to live. Arising out of that passion is to improve the lot of our people in Chitungwiza hence my focus on local governance stories and gospel stories which are a part of my calling” said Masaka.
Chitownews: Welcome councilor Masaka. Can you tell us about your turnaround strategy that you shall go with to municipality so we can have access to water 24/7 and other services?
Masaka : Chitungwiza is the second largest urban area in terms of population size and it needs its own dam. There are already plans by council for a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) with Sesani and other stakeholders to construct Muda Dam. The project needs to be speeded up once I am elected. That should be council’s number one priority.
Chitownews: What or who was stalling construction of Muda dam, we heard that local government under Kasukuwere approved project but did not start.
Masaka: Kasukuwere is on record condemning the project. But he did not do enough to offer an alternative. The issue now needs urgent intervention of government. The ministry of Lands should withdraw A2 farmers offer letters. Council together with residents need to put more pressure for that to happen. For some reason there was lack of political will by government to deal with the issue.
Concerning other services, first refuse collection they should be more modern trucks and collection should be done twice a week. The population has grown and once a week is no longer enough. We need to start a waste to energy project with foreign partners. Refuse collected will be turned into electricity which should be sold to bolster the council’s revenue sources and create employment.
Chitownews: Mr Masaka, we have Nyatsime residents who are not sure of their future. The council is silent on the issue. What will you do to resurrect the hope of these dupped residents? The Manyame council confirmed some 3 weeks ago that the 5 farms are now under Chitungwiza and we made to understand that the dispute which was between the A2 farmer and the council was resolved,how far true is that?
Masaka: This is news to me.
Chitownews : Councilor Masaka what have you done previously for Ward 8 and Chitungwiza?
Masaka : For Chitungwiza which includes ward 8 I have set up a whatsapp group that comprises stakeholders such as service providers ie. Municipality officials, Zesa officials, Chitungwiza Central hospital officials; residents and their leaders, MPs, councilors and journalists. The group has managed to unite citizens to join hands and resolve service delivery issues through engagement. What one only needs to do when there is a sewerage problem is to type narrating the nature of the problem and the address.
Chitownews: Approximately how much is needed to construct muda dam sir?
Masaka : The dam is estimated to costs $285 million.
Chitownews: Council minutes are difficult to access by residents and what are you going to do.
Masaka: There is need for council minutes to be readily available to all the ratepayers so that they can evaluate the performance of councilors. Transparency breeds accountability and this will help to curb corruption. For instance at one time Councilors were busy passing resolutions allocating themselves vast tracts of land in Nyatsime at the expense of those on the housing waiting list. In the last Council they were busy crying for stands and did little to address issues involving the plight of residents.Council also needs to treat residents associations as partners not as enemies. We need to unite above the social and political barriers to build a better Chitungwiza.
Chitownews : Mr Masaka what are you going to do about sewerage along Rufaro road and the habit of residents putting large stones in roads such as rufaro road, svosve road.
Masaka: I have raised the issue of Rufaro Road to the authorities many times. I have also discovered that one house near Mandaza area was built on top of a sewer pipe. The others causes of the problem is the high growth in population. The pipes were meant for a smaller population. Then there is the issue of residents using newspapers etc causing clogging of pipes. While there is need for urgent but temporary solutions to alleviate the problem such as replacing the pipes etc, the only long term solution is to put in place measures to provide more houses elsewhere to the ever growing population. We also need to create awareness and educate our residents. There are a lot of issues to do with that problem. Bad behavior by some residents who throw unwanted materials into sewers you see a lot of rags, stones, metals, retrieved from sewers by our guys when they do unblocking works. Also to note is that these facilities’ capacity has far been outclassed by contributing population hence the sewers will be filled to overflowing once there is water supply from our taps. Not leaving out the fact that the pipes are as well aged and some are corroded with sewage itself and are no longer in good operationalist.
Masaka: If there are no further questions I would like to thank the founders of this group and community news platform for the great work you are doing to inform our residents in Chitungwiza on various issues affecting our beloved town. I will support such noble efforts that are aimed at bringing development to our beloved town. I urge you to vote for the best candidates in your wards based on meritocracy. Elections are just a phase. Let them not divide us. They are there to bring out the best leadership in us to take us forward. Thank you Stay blessed.
Chitownews : Thank you elder Masaka wishing you the best on 30 July.
Masaka: Amen. Love you all.