The recent increase in rates and parking fees by local authorities across the country has irked residents who have condemned ‘the unilateral move which they said did not emanate from a consultative process as should be the case.
In a recent statement released by the Zimbabwe National Organisation of Associations and Residents Trust national chairman, Shalvar Chikombare, he said the spike in the fees was taking residents for granted.
“Zimbabwe National Organization of Associations and Residents Trust (ZNOART) is worried by the increases of rates and parking by councils . This is ridiculous, councils are taking residents for granted, surely we cannot have councils raising rates and parking fees willy -nilly.
“We also need to be consulted on these matters and we need accountability on the monies they are collecting,” said Chikombare.
ZNOART criticised the local authorities for increasing rates and parking fees while service delivery is appalling.
“We still have pot-holed roads, malfunctioning traffic lights, unsafe drinking water and poor reticulation systems yet the councils have the temerity to increase rates and parking fees,” it added.
The organisation had no kind words admonishing council executives for trying to enrich themselves in the midst of the ravaging Coronavirus pandemic.
“What we know is that the council executive wants to support their hefty perks and luxury lifestyle at the expense of residents who are reeling from the effects of COVID-19,”says the organisation.
ZNOART urged all residents across the country not to pay ‘unscrupulous bills and fees’ until the local authorities demonstrates transparency and accountability on the revenue they are collecting from the residents and ratepayers.
“Very soon ZNOART will call all residents to stop paying these unscrupulous bills and fees, until they prove to us what the money they have been collecting is used for.
“We understand all revenue being collecting is supposed to be shared 70% for development and 30% administration but this is being done the other way round hence we demand service delivery from these councils,” cites ZNOART.
The call by ZNOART comes at a time Harare City Council has doubled its parking fees from zwl$10 to zwl$20 per hour with effect from 1 June.