By Staff Reporter
GWERU: Residents here have blasted the city council for being insensitive to their suffering after the local authority has increased tariffs with immediate effect while people are under lockdown.
However, Gweru mayor, Josiah Makombe justified the increase saying the adjustment was informed by the hyper-inflationary environment prevailing in the country.
“We have reasonably adjusted our fees as we are trying to provide services in a constrained fiscal space in the second quarter of the year,” Makombe told NewZimbabwe.com.
Residents, however, are up in arms with the local authority for the unilateral decision.
Director of the Gweru Residents and Ratepayers Association (GRRA), Cornolia Seliphiwe said the decision to effect tariff increases was ill-timed.
“The timing is wrong, we have started a process of engaging with the local authority with the view that they will review their decision,” Seliphiwe said.
“Imagine people are on lockdown, in our economy there is no economic activity happening. Therefore, people can’t afford any increment at the moment. Yes, the council needs to review tariffs upwards but it is just the timing that is wrong. Gweru City Council must feel for us,” he said.
The new charges will see vendors forking out $1 182 for a vending licence up from $50. Buses and minibuses using the Kudzanayi bus terminus now pay $115, up from last year’s $10 per hour.
Service stations will pay $30 000, up from $1 308 per annum, whilst yearly licence fees for lodges are now pegged at $7 331 up from $310.
Burial fees have been increased from $80 to $1096.