The Harare Residents’ Trust has demonstrated commitment to engage service providers and elected representatives at the grassroots level by inviting all stakeholders to attend residents public meetings.The City of Harare should resist the temptation to transform itself into a private enterprise run by paranoid leaders who fear slight reminders of their obligations. The council cannot seek to control and manipulate the behaviour of residents’ bodies.
What they need to do is to ensure quality service provision, guaranteeing the residents; decent accommodation, regular refuse collection, safe drinking water and other such services as provided for in the Urban Councils Act.
Most importantly, the mandate bestowed on the City of Harare is not the creation of the Harare Residents’ Trust or any other interest groups but an expectation provided for in the Urban Councils Act which defines the council’s power and its mandate.
The media –– both private and public –– have a role to scrutinise the actions of public enterprises. The media has the right to inform the public about positive and negative activities and programmes within a public utility.
Residents’ bodies have a mandate derived from the residents, who pay their hard earned money in monthly rates and rentals, to evaluate and monitor local authorities.
The electorate expects an improvement in their living conditions. They want to pay affordable rates for services actually rendered.
Under the prevailing socio-economic situation, the council must institutionalise accountability and satisfy the expectations of the electorate.
Whatever commendable work they have done, they should not expect the Harare Residents’ Trust to pamper them because that is what is expected of them.
Harare Residents’ Trust.