Harare residents’ groups slam privatisation of service delivery

Warn the controversial move was meant to ‘drive elitist agendas’

By Caleb Chikwawawa

Residents have opposed the government and City of Harare’s push to privatise service delivery saying this was an attempt to transfer the local authority’s assets into the hands of the elite class and also marginalise the resident within the local government structure.

In a joint statement by the Combined Harare Residents association (CHRA) and the Harare Residents Trust (HRT), the groups said any privatisation of municipal service by government and council is regressive and causes more problems than solutions to waste management crisis.

“The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) and the Harare Residents Trust (HRT) strongly oppose the attempt by the City of Harare and the national government to privatize service delivery in Harare, especially waste management and water supplies.

“This agenda aims to transfer the city’s assets to the elite class. The central government and certain individuals within the Harare City Council are promoting this agenda, which directly undermines local governance.

“There has been no thorough consultation with the residents and ratepayers, hallmarks of democratic governance,” the groups said.

They also demanded evidence the controversial decisions were arrived at after the required consultations with residents.

“We urge the Harare City Council to provide transparent information on this matter, including sharing the decisions supporting the privatization of waste collection and water supply in the city, as well as reports on consultations with residents.

“Our demands are consistent with Section 62 of the Constitution which requires public institutions to make available information in pursuit of public interest, protection of human rights, and public accountability.

“Hiding information creates the unfortunate impression that they have made other financially beneficial arrangements beyond the knowledge of the residents.

“Privatising these services will not only burden the residents but also invalidate the justification and existence of the local authority, specifically the City of Harare.

“The government’s push for Geo-Pomona Waste Management Pvt Limited to take over waste management in Harare without citizens’ input and participation is regressive and raises more questions than solutions to the waste management crisis.

“We completely reject any form of privatisation of municipal services because privatisation has historically failed in providing municipal services and has removed public oversight. This has marginalised residents in the local governance structure.

“Our stance remains that initiatives devoid of residents’ participation will ultimately fail to produce outcomes beneficial to the residents but rather only serve the few elites driving the agenda.

“We condemn the autocratic tendencies and centralisation of decision-making power and call on both the central government and the Harare City Council to respect the people from whom their authority to govern is derived,” the residents’ groups said.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button