Blessings Chidakwa Municipal Correspondent
EPWORTH residents are up in arms with their local board, accusing it of failing to provide essential basic services, including water supplies and refuse collection, a situation they say is exposing them to health risks.
The residents accuse the local board of misappropriation of funds and failing to properly execute its regularisation exercise.
In an interview, Epworth Residents Development Association secretary-general Mr Peter Nyapeto said the board has poor relations and communication with residents.
“There is no refuse collection, no water supply, even the little that Harare used to supply to less than 10 percent of our population,” he said.
Mr Nyapeto said the residents do not even know the town’s five-year strategic plan.
“We approached the council so that it avails us with their five-year strategic plan, but up to now they are failing to provide us with it,” he said.
He said the local board has not released audited financial statements since 2014.
“We are paying rates and we want to know how our money is being used as there is no service delivery taking place.
The local board chairperson Mr Batanai Masunda also said his council was prioritising service delivery, with its major thrust being to regularise the area and open a town centre.
Epworth has most parts of its roads impassable, resulting in collection of solid waste being carried out at major shopping centres, while at household level residents are mainly using refuse pits.
The Epworth chief executive, Mr Wilton Mhanda, however dismissed the claims of abuse of funds by residents as hogwash, saying the local authority’s financial books were up to date.
“I am not sure if the people are surely Epworth residents.
“We are up to date in terms of our financial books as of 2018.
“If you want to verify, they are available at our offices,” he said.