By Donald Nyarota
Mutare Residents’ association have come out guns blazing over insensitive comments made by the MDC led local municipality that spending money on top of the range vehicles for senior management would improve the city status.
Mutare mayor Blessing Tandi made these remarks at a meeting on service delivery organized United Mutare Residents Ratepayers Trust (UMRRT), that the acquisition of top of the range vehicles for senior management will improve the city’s status.
City fathers at the Civic Centre resolved that both Tandi and Town Clerk Joshua Maligwa would each receive a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado each, while departmental heads would get Toyota Fortuners, despite the city reeling under financial incapacitation.
During the meeting residents grilled the mayor over wrong priorities at the city council including the latest expenditure on vehicles and for attending numerous workshops at the expense of ratepayers.
“The issue of vehicles will give status to the city and the issue of workshops will empower council with ideas obtained from the workshops,” Tandi said.
However residents have described these sentiments as insensitive and divorced from the realities of the ratepayers who are struggling to make ends meet, and against the spirit of servant leadership.
UMRRT programmes director Edson Dube said it was misplaced priorities for the council to spend on vehicles when the roads are poor.
“On vehicles, our mayor Blessing Tandi was very clear that it has nothing to do with service delivery, but their status. However, we have to look at our service delivery. We urge our municipality to be serious on the issues of service delivery.
“Instead of wasting money on luxurious things such as expensive bookings when attending workshops, they should improve on service delivery. We have poor roads, we need street lights and there are many issues that need to be addressed,” said Dube.
Mutare Residents and Ratepayers Association coordinator David Mutambirwa said the current crop of politicians was obsessed with amassing wealth at the expense of service delivery.
He said by conniving to purchase top of the range vehicles at a time when some suburbs are not connected to the main water server, the councilors are betraying the trust of voters who seconded them to the city council.
“The tragedy of today’s public servants is that they are obsessed with greedy and the city of Mutare Management and councilors are not an exception. By conniving to purchase top of the range vehicles during the Covid 19 Pandemic and when service delivery is at its worst shows their heartlessness. The behavior should be condemned with the contempt it deserves.
“Dangamvura and Gimboki has been experiencing acute water shortage exposing the residents to communicable diseases. The councilors are failing to realize that they were seconded to council through the election process in order to serve the interests of the electorate but, they now seem to have completely forgotten where they came from.
“The city council should put the interest of the residents first. I have not yet received the 2020 budget up to date and yet they claim that we are partners. They only want us during budget consultations and when the budget is out, they forget about us and go on a shopping spree,” said Mutambirwa.