Cornilia Selipiwe

From Pindula

Cornilia Selipiwe is a former spokesperson for the Gweru Council Workers Committee, and is currently (2020) the Executive Director of GRRA.

Personal Details

No information could be found on her age, place of birth, or family.

School / Education

No information could be found on her Junior or High School, or any tertiary education.

Service / Career

2015 – Spokesperson, Gweru City Council Workers Committee.
2018 to present (2020) - Executive Director, Gweru Residents and Ratepayers Association.

Events

Following Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo’s directive in 2013 that forced all local authorities to cancel outstanding bills accrued since dollarisation, Gweru has been struggling to operate viably. In April 2015, when the municipality went for several months without paying workers, management and employees set up a Revenue Enhancement Team to improve cash collection. Workers committee spokesperson, Cornelia Selipiwe yesterday revealed that the revenue collected daily by the taskforce had dropped by half between April and July. “When we started in April we were collecting $80 000 per day, which amounted to $2 million per month, but now the figure has dropped to $40 000 a day,” Selipiwe said. A council report shows that the revenue team collected about $1,4 million between May 7 and June 9. But the local authority requires about $1,1 million to meet its wage bill for the 1 300 strong workforce.

“We blame some councillors and politicians in the city who are against the workers committee and go around influencing residents not to pay their bills in order to discredit us.” Gweru councillors accuse the workers committee of running affairs at Town House while employees’ representatives accuse city fathers of dipping their fingers in the financially troubled coffers of the municipality. Selipiwe said the revenue team will continue with its work until city fathers put mechanisms in place to ensure workers were paid their salaries. Both mayor Hamutendi Kombayi and town clerk, Daniel Matawu could not be reached for comment. [1]

At the October 2018 Gweru pre-2019 budget meeting, Gweru residents expressed mixed feelings towards council plans to install household pre-paid water meters.

GRRA president Cornelia Selipiwe said prepaid water meters can be a panacea towards unjustified water bills, in medium and low density areas. Staley Mazorodze, a resident, said this is the worst decision you are making you are currently failing to supply us with portable water. Stella Nyamufuka, a vendor representative said, while you are targeting to improve revenue collection, you need to consider the water and sanitation implications. We are just coming out of a typhoid outbreak and you now want to ration water availability through those meters.

Council finance director, Edgar Mwedzi said “To improve revenue collected from water bills and to recover debts, we will be running a pilot project on pre-paid water meters early next year in Southdowns area. We are optimistic that residents will be motivated to pay and use water sparingly as in the case of electricity payments.” Residents and companies now owe council $62 million in unpaid water and other rates up from $55 million over the past eight months, a development attributed to council’s failure to deliver critical services such as water supply and refuse collection. [2]

After announcing a 60 percent cut in rates for 2020, Gweru residents have urged the city council to reduce rates and services further. Cornelia Selipiwe, the GRRA director, said some of the service fees and charges for business licences had been increased by 3 000%, hence slashing them by 60% would not bring relief to residents. Some business would now have to pay $50 000 for licences, up from $3 000 last year. Rentals for council-owned two-roomed houses in Mkoba were increased from $40 to $600 a month. A fuel service station licence had risen from $3 000 to $84 000.

Gweru mayor Josiah Makombe said council would review the fee at the end of the first quarter. Local authorities across the country raised their tariffs significantly this year due to rising inflation and the collapse of the local currency, which was re-introduced last year.

[3]

  1. Gweru Revenue Collection Declines, Southern Eye, Published: 30 July 2015, Retrieved: 9 April 2020
  2. Mixed feelings towards prepaid water meters, The Herald, Published: 5 October 2018, Retrieved: 9 April 2020
  3. Gweru residents demand budget cut, The Standard, Published: 16 February 2020, Retrieved: 9 April 2020