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Zim Local Authority Groups Map Ways of Engaging Govt

Representatives of more than 30 residents’ associations are holding a meeting in Zimbabwe’s second largest city, Bulawayo, to map a way forward in addressing issues affecting people in urban and rural areas.

Rodrick Fayayo, spokesman and director of the Bulawayo Progressive Residents’ Association which is hosting the residents’ groups drawn from most parts of the country, said some of the issues being discussed include ways of taking collective action against the government, water woes and daily power outages.

Fayayo said they are likely to discuss modalities of forming a national association though indications are that his organization and the Combined Bulawayo Residents’ Association won’t be part of it until they strengthen their local operations.

“First we have to look at local problems before we join the proposed national association but as of now we are not in it,” he said.

Fayayo, who spoke to VOA Studio 7 while the residents’ association representatives were on a guided tour of Cowdray Park suburb where the local authority intends to introduce pre-paid water meters, said people should resist such projects.

“These pre-paid meters will shake the fabric of ubuntu as we live in groups and not individuals. What will happen if my neighbor does not have water?” he asked.

Representatives of residents’ associations operating in Harare province, including satellite towns and municipalities such as Chitungwiza, Norton and Goromonzi, on Tuesday launched an umbrella body – the Harare Metropolitan Residents’ Forum - that will represent the interests of residents and ratepayers throughout the metropolitan area.