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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Meeting called by Councillor for Ward 8 Mr Chris Mbanga

Meeting called by Councillor for Ward 8 Mr Chris Mbanga


Presentations by:


Councillor Chris Mbanga                    Councillor for Ward 8:- Highlands, Newlands, Greendale, Glenroy, Rhodesville, Lewisham, Chisipite


                                                            Personal          0772 516703

Mr Machipisa                                     Highlands & Greendale District Officer        

                                                            Landline          04 495297

Mrs Trish Mukudu                              City of Harare Respresentative for Waste Management

                                                            Hotline                        04 770339

                                                            Personal          0772259596

Eng. Mutimkulu                                  City of Harare Dept of Engineering Services, representative for Roads and Street Lights



Expected representatives from City of Harare did not attend to present on:

Clean Water Provision

Protection of Wetlands

Health Service Delivery

Councillor Mbanga will get a report from these representatives and circulate it.




75 residents from Ward 8 and other Harare suburbs.





Waste Management
Mrs Trish Mukudu – responsible for household collection service & schedule
(15 mins)
·         Apologies given for intermittent collection of refuse over the past 2 – 3 weeks due to a breakdown of a truck and no diesel. 
·         Currently waste service is collecting from households and illegal dumpsites, functioning in all 49 wards with one truck per ward.  The large number on each truck indicates which ward it operates in.  When a truck is down for repairs, a truck from another ward fills in, there are no spare vehicles
·         There is an operational hotline to report illegal dumping of waste, littering from vehicles or issues with the waste collection crew or truck. 
·         Hotline number 04 770339.  When reporting on littering from a vehicle the ZRP follow up with details of car owner address and a fine is issued.
·         Fine schedule
illegal waste dumping                        $20
littering from a vehicle                      $50
illegal dumping of industrial waste $250
·         From March 24th to March 28th there will be a week long inspection of public bins throughout major centres in the city with city health, waste management and ZRP enforcing bin provision and clean-up
Questions, Answers & * suggestions
Q – On the corner of Borrowdale rd and Churchill Ave the vendors dump litter
A – to be followed up
Q – how to report a vehicle seen littering or dumping?
A – call the hotline to report vehicle license plate, ZRP will follow up & issue a fine
Q – the Mayor suggested dropping the charge for individual households to take waste to landfill site, is there still a charge?
A – the Mayor needs to report to Council and pass the motion
Q – When doing renovations where can the rubble be dumped and who to contact?
A – refuse collection trucks not equipped for rubble, call the hotline or Mrs Mukudu directly to have rubble collected
Q – What is the situation with Pomona Dump site, is it closing?
A – The site is currently still operating as a suitable alternative has not been found
Q – As more and more townhouse and cluster home developments are approved by the city what are the city’s plans to deal with the huge increase in demand for services such as water, sewerage, refuse removal, road repair?
A – if there is a need to increase refuse collection in an area, report it to Mrs Mukudu who will notify crews & change schedule
Q – some properties are housing up to 15 or more people, how will the city’s services meet the rising demand?
A – the city currently calculates 1 black bin for mixed household waste per property, any increase should be signaled to the Councillor who can request for more frequent pick-ups
Q – Is there anything being done to raise awareness on littering which is the cause for the drop in standards of cleanliness?
A – currently there are city run public awareness campaigns carried out in schools, and with help from civil society groups
* - there are not enough bins in shopping centres, especially on street corners where vendors are operating
A – we discourage the use of open skips for refuse collection as children are sent to dump rubbish which can fall out or be unhygienic, the city encourages shops to have their own bins
* - the Pomona dump has a tendency to ignite; leaches toxins into the underground water system and emits CH4 (methane) – is it not possible to compost what is compostable and use a system of carbon credits to finance managing the dump like happens in other major cities?
A - noted
* - it is time for the city to take recycling seriously and implement it
A – there are plans for recycling underway, we are working with Plastix inc and other groups on recycling
Mr Machipisa, District Officer, Highlands
clarification of points discussed
- BURNING - Burning on properties is not permitted by bi-laws and is administered by Health officers who can be contacted at the Highlands District Office.  Public advised to report burning or other illegal behaviour to these officers
- BINS - the district office has standard black plastic bins for households, public can collect up to 5 bins per property from the D.O. office
- PLANNING – planning for increased sewage and waste load in areas being developed is still being studied.  Currently Town Planners calculate properties to house 6 people per dwelling, this number is used to calculate the expected load on sewage, water, roads etc.  Currently where houses are carrying 15 or more lodgers, firstly it should be reported as this is not permitted in low density suburbs, also the city planners are carrying out studies on the capacity to cater for increased population in these areas.  The number of residences (3617) is multiplied by 6 to get the expected number of residents.
Questions, Answers & * suggestions
Q – How have so many townhouse and cluster home developments got permission to build without adequate planning in place?
A – there are many applications for change of use from residential to commercial, as the acceptable number for housing is 6 people per dwelling a study is being done on the carrying capacity of these neighbourhoods.
Q – What are the regulations pertaining to urban poultry farming?
A – any urban farming is governed by city health bi-laws and checked by health officers
- the bi-laws currently permit 24 chickens on a residential stand
- an application must be submitted in order to put up a temporary structure to house chickens
- over the limit of 24 per stand the public is advised to report to the District Officer
- urban goat farming is not permitted
- the accepted number of registered dogs per property is 2, permits issued at D.O.
Q -  I am connected to the main sewer which is broken, I reported the breakage at end of Jan 2014 and have had no response.  What can I do?
A – it is advised that the public use all means of communication for registering complaints and queries.  Reporting to the District Office is written down and must be followed up.
(Councillor Mbanga urges this case to report directly to the D.O. and follow up with the councillor himself)
Q – Along Yardley Rd and Selous there is a section of uncompleted road which now has a fence across it and commercial farming taking place.  This activity has been reported on 5 occasions to the D.O. 
There are also illegal functions being carried out at the venue at Yardley road which has been repeatedly reported since 2011.  What is the situation and why is no one responding?
A – (the Counillor answered) this case has been taken to the highest level of authority and is being dealt with
- a property owner applied for a permit to open a wedding venue, a proposal was made to build part of the road / bridge along the road for Council in exchange for the approval of the wedding venue.  However the approval of the venue is also dependent on neighbours and community approval.  The matter is being attended to.
Q – What is the law regarding urban farming, specifically potato farming?
A – urban farming on residential land contravenes the bi-laws.  However each property has its own specific land usage approved by Council and public land can be leased from Council to carry out farming in the urban area.  Rules around this have been relaxed due to food security issues in the past.
* - there is a direct correlation between the area cultivated by urban farming and the increase of silt in Lake Chivero proving that 6 months of storage is lost annually due to silt.  The city must take this into account when considering permits for farming especially as alternative sites for dams to supply the city are restricted.
Roads & Street Lights
Eng. Mutimkulu
Rep of Eng. Services Dept headed by Engineer Pfukwa.
- Due to years of neglect and inadequate maintenance of our roads we find many of them in ill-repair.  The city is trying to turn the situation around.  In addition to past challenges, the current lack of working capital and lack of diesel is what is restricting the Road Repairs & Maintenance.
- In 2013 the Engineering Dept received
   6 tipper trucks with 6 m3 load capacity;  6 drop side trucks; excavation equipment; back hoes, pedestrian roller; pole olger and a jet patcher (pothole patcher)
- Council is seeking to increase revenue streams from roadside advertising, sale of gravel and stones from the city quarry at Dieppe, charging fees for infrastructural improvements; increasing vehicle licensing
- Negotiations for a $400 million loan over 25 years from a South African company with the City and Zinara are underway
- There are 4000km of road in our city with a staff of only around 200 people of which 30 are out on the roads to do patching up and repair.  Currently Council is looking at collapsing some departments so hopefully some staff will be allocated to Engineering Services.
- The Engineering Department would like to Thank individual members of the public for contributions in form of labour and trucks to assist in repairing some roads, members of the community and corporates often assist us and it is appreciated.
Councillor Mbanga jointly answered some of these questions
Q – Along Collins Ave there are 5 new humps which are above standard size, can the humps be removed as they were not put in by the City?
A – The humps will need to be repaired and reduced to standard height, No, citizens cannot interfere with city infrastructure without permission
Q – Sometimes when there is no power in the area the streetlights along Steppes and other roads remain on, even during the day, why is that?
A – there is currently a shortage of daylight switches so the lights cannot be turned off
* - It is suggested that the City attend to water delivery services before road works and repair so that leaking pipes do not need to be dug up through new roads, also heavy duty water deliveries will continue to ruin the roads
A – the needs of the City will be worked on simultaneously.  Regarding water delivery, the Chinese contractors are already working at Morton Jaffray.  As many residents are not paying rates it is difficult to tackle all the problems at once. 
- A loan of $2 billion is being negotiated for water delivery besides the $144 million Chinese loan which provided 4 motorized water bowsers and equipment for road works already mentioned as well as computers and office supplies
Q – Is the new equipment meant for road repair being used to build the road to Mt Hampden where Parliament will be housed?
A – Parliament will move out of town but the City of Harare will not.  The City limits end before the new road to Mt Hampden.  It is not the same equipment.
Q – Please could urgent attention be given to addressing the road repairs needed along Knightsbridge and Sloane Street as these are in a terrible state, are an embarrassment to Highlands and need to be fixed.  Also there is no refuse collection along Sloane St.
A – noted by the Councillor and by Refuse Collection
Q – With the recent capping of city officials salaries at $6000 per month, will there now be enough revenue to tackle issues concerning the City?
A – no comment
* – It would appear from concerns raised that there are many contraventions of law that are not being inspected or enforced.  The inspectorate division are not doing their job.
A - noted
Q – When this area has such problems with water why is the Country Club allowing ORCA water to be sold by the hundreds of thousands of litres, sometimes 9 truckloads a day?
A - noted
Q – Why are we still being billed by the City for water we never get and haven’t got for years?
A – the Councillor is personally taking this issue to Council and asking in the first instance for Council to relax these rates for pensioners, old age homes and orphanages
Q – How was the Chinese tender for the water system awarded?
A – the tender board now deals with all tenders, Council does not have any of that information
Q – Does the City now have an audited set of accounts available?
A – yes
* - it is suggested that the utility companies digging trenches to place cables pay high levies to fix the damage they are doing to roads and to create revenue for the City.
A – the utility companies are supposed to dig up and fill in trenches within 24hrs, they are now being billed monthly levies for the digging
Q – When power cables are cut by utility companies how can individuals be compensated? 
A – it is unfortunate.  You can sue us (jokingly).
* - In order to communicate better with residents in the ward, take advantage of networks and databases that already exist to circulate information such as the notes of this meeting
 A - noted
Q – Is the city budgeting for road works aside from Zinara?
A – the rates account funds road repair and is very low as people not paying rates. 
Q – The engineer spoke of few people on the ground.  Is the department not top heavy, with many people in offices and few hands on the ground?
A – Council is talking of a 70:30 ratio of funding and staff between work on the ground and work in offices, many departments are being streamlined to address the top heaviness, casual labour has also been employed to increase hands on staff but sometimes they cannot get paid
Q – Africa and indeed the Sunshine City has a lot of sunlight, how is the program of solar traffic lights and street lighting progressing?
A – aside from the 17 traffic lights in the city centre the programmed has not progressed
Q – With the increase in traffic on the roads what plans are there to address traffic jams
A – in the $400 million loan mentioned there is provision of $2.5million for a comprehensive traffic study detailing a road map and masterplan for the city.  For example Enterprise will be widened, the Harare Ring Rd completed, the Minister has proposes for tolls to be installed in the city and kombi’s to have limited access in the city centre in peak hours;
Presently there is no master computer synchronizing traffic lights;
There is talk of a 5 yr mass transit system with fast trains funded by public private partnerships, all this will be detailed in the study
Q – There is an increase of people placing large stones and rocks along their verges which make it impossible for motorists to get off the road to avoid potholes.  How can this be addressed?
A – there is a program to remove rocks from verges when reports come in
Q – if individuals want to fix their own road how can communities assist?
A – there is a need to meet halfway, if you want to fix your Close for example, then we will also ask you to fix a bigger road leading to it.?
First approach the D.O. to offer assistance  and then we will coordinate who does what.
The current patching unit requires 8 people to man it, if labour is offered by the community we can also assist.
Development Proposals for Ward 8  Councillor Mbanga
- It is good to have so many residents together, it is proposed to hold these meetings monthly not only to discuss but also to take action as residents of Highlands to make the changes we want to see and to help the city authorities
- herewith is the list of development proposals for Ward 8:
1. to address the issue of Clean Water in Shopping Centres by sinking boreholes in Newlands, Eastlea, Rhodesville, Glenroy, Chisipite, Lewisam. Ballantyne and anywhere else where it is shown to be necessary
2. renovate and refurbish all public toilets in these centres
3. control vegetable market stalls:- whilst they are needed, they are also unsitely
4. establish and manage the Arts and Crafts centres such as at Newlands
5. Have organized weekend markets to replace vending
6. Ensure drains are cleared as these add to pothole creation
7. Have roads maintained and repaired
8. Introduce more and mobile public bins with timely and regular collection and emptying
9. Increase municipal police presence – encourage people to join the CCC and work alongside the ZRP
10. Protect and Maintain wetlands in our area by approaching people and reporting when there is dumping or illegal behaviour
11. Build a programme for assistance for domestic workers when they retire as many no longer have a Kumusha
12. Build and maintain a public hall at the District Office to hold meetings and for the public to be able to interact with the authorities and their representatives
13. Plan to establish recreational facilities for domestic workers
14. Revamp street lighting
15. Renew road signs and street names
16. Create and Set-up functional committees in all Centres in the Ward whose representatives along with the D.O., ZRP, Council, Zinara, Zesa, Informal Sector committees, Churches, Schools and Health will participate in a Development Committee for the Ward and be able plan, take action and give feedback on what is happening in the Ward.  A motion to allow these individual communities to take action will be put to Council.
 Communication is of the highest importance whether for making enquiries, putting forward complaints or concerns.  The District Officer has made an office available for the Councillor to attend to the public and hear suggestions.  There is a need for the D.O. to have a public email.  The public is invited to contact the Councillor by email or phone and copy in the D.O. when the office gets allocated an official address.
“Thank you for coming.  You elected me to represent you in Council and I will try to do that to the best of my abilitiy”  Councillor Chris Mbanga





Next meeting will be on: Tuesday 13th May 2014 at 1800hrs in the Highlands Presbytarian Hall. Please circulate the notes to other residents of Ward 8.



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