Demand the Council of Masvingo City to Rescind 14 February 2021 Service Rates Resolution

Demand the Council of Masvingo City to Rescind 14 February 2021 Service Rates Resolution

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Real Agenda For Youth Transformation Trust started this petition to Mayor and Council of the City of Masvingo and

1.       The City of Masvingo held a Stakeholders Meeting on 24 February 2021 citing minimum charges before water consumption to be RTGS$2630.56  (USD$31.36) for high density suburbs and RTGS$2360.56 (USD$28.14) for Low Density Suburbs.

2.       As young people of the city we condemn the decision by the city council which have seen household bills skyrocketing for the month of February 2021.

We demand the City of Masvingo to rescind its decision with immediate effect for the following reasons:

A.      His Excellence President E.D. Mnangagwa promulgated the SI 2020-083 Public Health ( COVID-19 Prevention, Containment and Treatment) National Lockdown) Order. On the 2nd of January 2021, H. E the Vice President RT General C.G. Chiwenga issued a level 2 lockdown SI that did not allow unessential movement and gatherings.

·         The City Council deliberately came to the decision of increasing rates without proper or meaningful community engagement as it was impossible to conduct ward consultations for the quarterly budget review during the level 2 lockdown regulations.

B.       The City Council held Annual Budget Consultations from 3 November to 10 November 2020 in all the 10 Wards of Masvingo. There was no proposal to increase tariffs. The ratepayers were engaged and the City Council should make use of the ratepayers are informed of the final Annual Budget Proposal.

C.      The tariff increase have seen households being billed more than RTGS$3000. The RTGS have been stable against major currencies especially the US Dollar lately trading at RTGS$83.89. Thus the least charge will be USD$35.76 and a maximum of USD$107.28 for households we have engaged.

D.      The rates were hiked nicodemously trumped up against ratepayers. The quarterly increases should be approved by ratepayers not an affair between the Minister of Local Government and the City Council alone.

E.       The rates increased by at least 500% despite the consumption for January dropping to once a week. The co-relation between the charges and supply doesn’t relate. Instead of charges for dropping by 50-75% as of December 2020 billing when the water rationing exercise was announced on 19 December 2020, they are skyrocketing.

F. The RTGS have been stable against the US dollar since the inception of the lockdown regulations. The reason for the hefty increase is not substantiated. 

In this respect, we call upon the Mayor and Council of the City of Masvingo to rescind the tariffs decision and back date to December 2020 rates and respect our RIGHT TO WATER and Meaningful Civic Participation.

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