Kubatana – archive – chra protests to city of harare over exorbitant forex rates – chra – feb 25, 2009

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View archive by sector HOME THE PROJECT DIRECTORY JOIN ARCHIVE SEARCH E:ACTIVISM BLOG SMS FREEDOM FONE LINKS CONTACT US Back to Index CHRA protests to City of Harare over exorbitant forex rates Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) February 25, 2009 The Combined Harare Residents Association has written to the City of Harare Mayor protesting over the exorbitant forex rates charged by the City council workers. CHRA learnt that council workers are already implementing a budget that has not been approved


by the councilors. The Association is deeply concerned by the reports it continues to receive from residents particularly from the high density areas where a household is required to pay up to US$35 for rates per month. During the recent “Meet your councilor” public meetings organized by CHRA, Dzivarasekwa, Glen View and Mabvuku residents have vowed that they will not pay these rates to the City of Harare until the following demands are met; Residents are consulted over the formulation of the 2009 City Budget. The City of Harare 2009 Budget is approved by the councilors. The rates are reduced to levels that reflect the true socio economic strata.

Please kindly find below the letter written to the Mayor by CHRA. Meanwhile CHRA will continue to advocate and lobby for an accountable local governance system that provides quality and affordable service delivery on a non partisan basis. 19 February 2009 The Mayor Cc: Deputy Mayor Town Clerk City Treasurer Deputy Minister of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development. The Speaker of Parliament The Prime Minister City Of Harare Town House Harare Re: 2009 City of Harare Budget – Issues over Process and Implementation Whereas we the undersigned, being the leadership and representatives of the members of the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) consider the City of Harare to be an accountable, transparent and people driven council whose operations must be guided by democratic principles, which include though not limited to residents’ participation in decision-making processes. We unreservedly register our utter disappointment over the fact that the Council is already considering to approve the 2009 City Budget without consulting the residents. The Combined Harare Residents Association is quite aware that it is our right as residents to be consulted and participate in the budget formulation, implementation and evaluation process. May we draw your attention to the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15) Section 219 (2) and (3), which directs you to ensure residents’ consultation.

The residents of the City of Harare expect and demand, as always, meaningful rather than cosmetic consultation and participation in all decision-making processes including the issue of the 2009 budget. CHRA reminds the Honourable members of our beloved council that its members (and the ratepayers in general) will not be prepared to pay anything that emanates from a budget whose formulation, approval and implementation they are not part of. And more intently, whose objective seems to be based on extortion and arrogance. In that regard, we demand that The Council must immediately shelve all debates regarding the passage of the 2009 Budget and instead engage the residents in the respective wards to discuss the budget proposal. All the tariffs, charges and levies against the residents must be affordable.

Council must immediately stop implementing the latest tariffs, rates and levies against the residents, which have been pegged in forex. Council must clearly enunciate the status of payment for the benefit of the resident. In this regard, the Public Relations office must be more effective in dealing with such cases. Members of the Combined Harare Residents Association are ready to participate in the budget formulation consultation meetings. This is in full recognition of the fact that council does not have adequate resources and that service delivery in dire straits, hence the need to urgently tackle the bull by the horns.

If our right to consultation and participation is not fulfilled, CHRA is ready to engage the council in the form of mass protests, litigation and rates boycotts amongst many other strategies. CHRA believes that residents’ participation is the hallmark of participatory local Governance. Related to the issue of the 2009 Budget and revenue collection, CHRA also urges the Honourable members of our beloved council to attend to the following urgent matters; Speedy takeover of the water provision and sewer reticulation services from ZINWA. We cannot afford to lose life anymore. This includes assets recovery (e. g. vehicles, bus, computers and various equipment).

Production and distribution of clean and safe drinking water to all areas. Printing and timely delivery of water and sewer bills Investigate cases whereby certain council employees are demanding rates, rentals and water charges from the residents in forex. As far as we are concerned, the residents have not yet approved the proposal to charge rates in forex and we will not consent to that as long as we have no access to foreign currency. Meanwhile the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) appreciates the tremendous efforts being made by the council with respect to grass cutting and refuse collection. CHRA will continue to complement the council efforts through its programmes that include the clean up campaigns and pothole fillings as well as capacity building.

CHRA remains committed to the improvement of service delivery in Harare and will do its best to complement the council efforts, but will not compromise on citizens’ right to participation. Our struggle over the years has been and is still underpinned on our quest for democratic local governance that respects and fulfils our right to consultation and participation. In conclusion, we reiterate our commitment to dialogue in resolving the crisis bedevilling Harare and any other local authority. Yours faithfully Farai Barnabas Mangodza CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER For the CHRA Leadership: Simbarashe Moyo (Chair) Beatrice Ngwenya (Deputy Chair), Charles Ben (Secretary), Cecilia Masekereya (Treasurer) Visit the CHRA fact sheet Please credit www. kubatana. net if you make use of material from this website. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise. TOP


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