Gweru Residents and Ratepayers Association

From Pindula

Gweru Residents and Ratepayers Association (GRRA) is committed to proactively lead a quality community for its residents through monitoring, evaluation and advocacy for efficient and effective service delivery to all people residing in Gweru in respect of water power supply, refuse collection, road construction and maintenance or any other related issues.

Contact Details

PD45, 2nd Floor , Telone Building, , 5th Avenue Gweru.
Mon - Fri: 08h00 – 17h00 Saturdays and Sundays: Closed

Tel: +263 054-2220425/+263773013266.
Email: info@grra.org.zw.
Website: https://grra.org.zw/

Organisation

Executive Director – Cornilia Selipiwe
Finance and Administration Officer – Taurai Demo
Programmes and Gender Focal Officer – Fadzai Kanyai
Media and Communications Officer – Clive Makumbe

GRRA is an independent residents' association operating in Gweru whose main objective is to advocate and lobby service providers and policy-makers to provide quality services to residents.

Residents in Gweru have experienced poor service delivery from the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA), Gweru City Council and elected representatives such as the councillors and Members of Parliament. Structures of GRRA were established through a process of careful identification of residents who understood the value of tackling civic issues.

GRRA has a dedicated suburban residents' committee and inducts them on the GRRA approach.

Core Values:

  • Transparency
  • Inclusivity
  • Constitutionalism
  • Accountability
  • Non Partisan

Events

GRRA has secured an office to operate from, following a donation by Gweru based businessman who owns the leading Aspirations flea markets, Taurai Demo, in June 2018. GRRA was operating at number 6 Bedford Road but due to financial constraints they realized that it was no longer ideal to use the office.

President of GRRA Cornelius Seliphiwe thanked Taurai Demo for giving their organization a helping hand. “Thank you to Mr Demo for realizing our organization as a community driven and we are going to benefit from this office, the place is very convenient as we will interact with the retailers in the flea market and address their plight.” [1]

In July 2019, with Gwenhoro Dam again being only 30% water capacity, sufficient enough for only three months, an idea was proposed by Gweru City Council (GCC) to alleviate the water crisis by installing electric powered boreholes in the city. The reliance on electric boreholes was questioned in the context of a nation battling for electricity. Gweru introduced a water rationing system, which worsened the crisis as some areas such as Mkoba 14 and 19 seldom receive any water.

In addition, despite Mayor Josiah Makombe’s promises to residents that his administration will transform the service delivery framework of Gweru, service delivery has seriously declined in Gweru as exhibited by erratic water supplies ,uncollected refuse ,poor road network, two working traffic lights in the Central Business District. GRRA called on Council to:

  • Ring fence the water account.
  • Ensure citywide citizen participation in policy formulation and implementation.
  • Develop inclusive mechanisms of addressing challenges around service delivery in Gweru.
  • Minimize ad hoc interventions to water challenges, which have long been foreseen by the Water engineering department.
  • Minimize bickering in the Engineering services department towards improved service provision.

<ref name="Gweru City Council Proposed Electric Boreholes An Ill Informed Development In The Wake Of The Nationwide Electricity Crisis"> Gweru City Council Proposed Electric Boreholes An Ill Informed Development In The Wake Of The Nationwide Electricity Crisis, Kubatana, Published: 18 July 2019, Retrieved: 7 April 2020<ref>

A ministry investigation team was in Gweru in November 2019, despite there being a Council investigation team put in place for the same purpose. The “wide range of issues” included some, if not most, of the issues under investigation by the council appointed investigating team.

In a letter to the minister, GRRA sought to “remind your office that the councilors are the mandated and popularly elected people’s representatives who have been deployed to carry out the residents’ sovereign agenda over the city’s issues.” <ref name=" Investigation of the city of Gweru by an investigation team from the ministry of local government"> Investigation of the city of Gweru by an investigation team from the ministry of local government, Kubatana, Published: 6 November 2019, Retrieved: 7 April 2020<ref>

GRRA was not invited to make submissions to the ministry’s investigating team in November, concerned with general service delivery and civic affairs. It was feared the process was to lay a base from which to justify a Commission’s appointment, being desired by those who stand to benefit from the removal of a democratically elected Council and supplanting it with an un-elected grouping of people. “The spectra of the coming in of a Commission to run the affairs of the City of Gweru is fast shaping up into a sad reality. We have been there before.” <ref name=" Gweru Under Siege"> Gweru Under Siege, Kubatana, Published: 13 November 2019, Retrieved: 7 April 2020<ref>

In January 2020, High Court Judge Justice Maxwell Takuva ordered Gweru Polytechnic College to reinstate a student leader, Mudzingwa, who had been suspended for allegedly leading a protest against poor service at the institution. He was suspended 8 November by Washington Chandiwana, the Principal of Gweru Polytechnic College, who accused him of misconduct after a meeting on 7 November. The meeting was to address housekeeping issues pertaining to their stay at the college hostels. Mudzingwa (21) serves in the food committee of the Student Representative Council

Mudzingwa engaged Jabulani Mhlanga from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), who demanded his reinstatement given that his suspension from college was not supported by the institution’s regulations. <ref name=" High Court Reinstates Student Leaders Suspended Over Food Protest"> High Court Reinstates Student Leaders Suspended Over Food Protest, Kubatana, Published: 28 January 2020, Retrieved: 7 April 2020<ref>

In February 2020, Gweru Residents and Ratepayers Association (GRRA) expressed concern about alleged cholera cases reported in Mkoba. Two have led to deaths.

<ref name=" Gweru Residents And Ratepayers Association Statement"> Gweru Residents And Ratepayers Association Statement, Kubatana, Published: 28 February 2020, Retrieved: 7 April 2020<ref>

  1. Businessman donates office to GRRA, The Sun, Published: 18 June 2018, Retrieved: 8 April 2020