By Thomas Madhuku
UNCOLLECTED refuse piling on street corners, flowing raw sewerage in suburbs and flooding on most streets due to poor drainage is angering Kadoma residents, who have accused their municipality of prioritising less important projects at the expense of service delivery.
Kadoma Progressive Residents Association (KAPRA), secretary-general, George Goliati, said the Kadoma Town Council was failing to deliver services to residents who now have to live with raw sewer flowing on the streets, flooding during the rainy season and uncollected garbage.
He accused the municipality of spending over US$30,000 on street lights near townhouse when residents were exposed to water-borne diseases due to poor waste management.
“Traffic lights were installed near Town House at a cost of US$33,000. If we critically analyse whether we needed traffic lights as a town, it wasn’t a top priority,” he said.
“If they had wanted to install lights, they could have opted for Bulawayo road near Waverly which is a busy area.”
Goliati castigated the council for the poor drainage system, which has seen most roads in the suburbs flooding, leading to some houses developing cracks.
“There are many things we are not happy about, including poor drainage that has seen most roads flooding during this rainy season.
Some houses are developing cracks and there is no refuse collection. We don’t know what their problem is because nothing tangible has been done by the municipality to improve service delivery in Kadoma,” he said.
Another Kadoma resident from Rimuka, Cleopas Muchenje, said their town had one functioning refuse collection truck, which constantly breaks down.
“There is only one functional refuse collection truck and it’s so overwhelmed that it constantly breaks down resulting in residents dumping garbage on illegal dumping sites. This is dangerous because residents are exposed to diseases,” he said.
“We can’t talk about sewer; it has become a part of our daily lives. What angers us is that they are not doing anything to address the situation.
“They only say that only 40% of residents are paying rates but we think this is just an excuse for their incompetence.”
Zimbabwe’s biggest textile factory was located in Kadoma. The now collapsed David Whitehead Textiles (DWT) employed hundreds of residents at its peak, but since its closure, the town has struggled for corporate support.
Goliati said the closure of DWT had also contributed to Kadoma Town Council’s struggles as the company used to provide resources for service delivery.
He accused the municipality of failing to properly use devolution funds, which he said could have helped cover the gap left by non-paying residents.
“The devolution fund is not helping the situation as there is nothing that has improved despite disbursements having been made,” Goliati said.
A local civil society organisation, Isandla Esihle, has since begun lobbying for the demotion of Kadoma from city status over poor service delivery.
The organisation has submitted a petition to Kadoma and Chitungwiza city fathers to improve service delivery or risk being stripped of city status.
“Following a wide consultation, investigations and monitoring of the activities of the two cities by this office, the recommendations are that if during the prescribed period, the two cities do not reform and comply with standards pointed hereunder, shall be demoted to town status,” reads part of the petition.
Kadoma Mayor, Alderman Action Nyamukondiwa, blamed the non-performing economy for the problems facing his council.
“Less than half of Kadoma residents are paying rates and this is affecting our capacity to deliver services.
“We are trying our best under very difficult conditions and we hope with devolution funds we will be able to carry out projects that can help boost service delivery,” he said.