The Sunday News
Vusumuzi Dube, Senior Municipal Reporter
RESIDENTS in Cowdray Park Hlalani Kuhle in Bulawayo will be required to contribute money towards the rehabilitation of the poor road infrastructure in the suburb.
This comes amid revelations that the residents risk walking a considerable distance to their houses with Zupco threatening to withdraw its buses and kombis citing poor road infrastructure which further deteriorated during the rainy season.The roads in the area are further worsened by the fact that when the suburb was established no storm drains were constructed.
According to a report on a meeting held between the suburb’s Councillor, Kidwell Mujuru and residents it was resolved that every household should pay US$2 for the rehabilitation of the roads. With 15 600 households, US$31 200 is expected to be raised in the facility.
Contacted for comment, Clr Mujuru said a special account will be opened at the Bulawayo City Council’s financial services department where the money will be paid to. He said while the facility was not compulsory, all households were encouraged to pay the money as it would vastly benefit them.
“What made us come up with this resolution is that the owners of the buses affiliated to Zupco actually complained that the roads were damaging their vehicles hence they threatened to withdraw their buses, also other key amenities, like refuse removal trucks, struggle to reach the area.
Residents are the ones who then suggested that we contribute towards the rehabilitation of the roads, I spoke and got permission from Town Clerk, Mr Christopher Dube and will be meeting the financial services director, Mr Kimpton Ndimande for the creation of a special account where this money will be deposited for accountability purposes,” said Clr Mujuru.
He said they also considered that there was a pending arrangement that residents pay a development fee of $3 000 for the servicing of the area.
“It is unfortunate that we have a over 5 000 households that are totally not paying their rates with a bulk having not paid this development fee hence it honestly becomes difficult to service the area. The situation on the ground is that council doesn’t have funds and if residents take a back seat nothing will be done to fix this issue hence my call on all residents to pay this money and our commitment is that within two weeks, we would have got the required resources and a contractor to fix the roads,” said Clr Mujuru.
The project will include grading, gravel filling and drainage system construction on main roads.
Last year the local authority completed the construction of a bridge and a 1,4-kilometer road stretch, a project done using devolution funds from central government.
Two weeks ago council said at least 75 percent of the city’s road network has outlived its lifespan, with council noting that the funds they received from the Zimbabwe National Road Authority (Zinara) was a mere drop in the ocean compared to the money they required to fix the roads.