By Simbarashe Fenton
REDCLIFF – Redcliff Mayor Clayton Masiyatsva has opened a pay toilet at Rugare Shopping Centre, Torwood, much to the delight of revellers and local vendors.
The toilet, previously a functioning public council property during the success days of ZISCO STEEL and local industries, has over the years been vandalised and its componets stolen, and was closed for public use amid a lack of resources for resuscitation.
“Historically this toilet used to be councils’ property and during the pre-2013 period, when we had ward retention schemes where 10 percent of paid bills by the residents would go forward development. Unfortunately those were difficult years, there was not much as people were not paying much. So with help from Mr Mumvuri, I forked out money from my pocket to replenish the system here.
Situated at Rugare Shopping Centre bus terminus, the opening of the toilet brings a relief to Ward 3 community members, travellers and most importantly business people who have been operating without proper toilets for all this time.
As Ward 3 councillor, Masiyatsva expressed gratitude towards youthful and hardworking Meki Mateta for volunteering to run the toilet on behalf of the council while individuals, mostly vendors, commuters and local business would pay for accessing the toilet.
“Some two weeks ago, this young man approached me and enquired on the issue of this toilet and made a proposal. He volunteered to fetch water and clean the toilet, in turn people would pay a few dollars to use this toilet. I tabled his (Meki Mateta) proposal and the council agreed so whatever he (money) is going to get it is going to be his, for his own upkeep. As the council we are the major beneficiary on this initiative as it will be protected from vandals.
I am going to make sure that I will supply a work suit, 2 drums, a bucket and all the detergents and toiletries from time to time required to run this toilet as this is our property.” emphasised Mayor Masiyatsva while handing over keys to the new caretaker.
Speaking to this publication on the side lines of the official handover of the toilet, Mai Dzimba, a vendor at Rugare bus terminus could not hide her joy on the gesture by the Mayor which she considers important as far as her trade is concerned.
“This is important to us health wise, it does not matter if we pay a dime but the hygiene part is the most important. Previously everyone due to lack of better toilets here would just make use of anywhere to relieve themselves but this toilet will help us as a community because we are afraid of cholera and typhoid which has a history of taking many lives here in Torwood.
I am grateful to the mayor; he has been doing good work in this ward and also the council for giving us this toilet. It is going to help this unemployed young man as well”. She said
“I want to thank the Mayor for taking me seriously,many think because i drink at times i cannot come up with ideas which benefit the community.It is going to benefit everyone especially me as i will have something to do and to get few bucs[sic].” Said the jovila Meki Mateta soona after being given the reigns to run the new pay toilet.
Quizzed on why if not all but most of businesses in Redcliff continue operating without proper toilets,Masiyatsva assured continued efforts but however bemoaned the town’s aging sewer reticulation sytem now expensive to maintain.
This development comes as the Torwood community is waiting for the council to deliver on the Vegetable up market replenishment project which is expected to bring more opportunities and hygiene as far as the selling of fresh produce is concerned.
Redcliff town, a red zone and possible hotspot for the outbreak of cholera and typhoid mostly as a result of water crisis and lack of proper waste disposal mechanisms, the coming in of this pay toilet is a step forward in a long way to prevent the feared resurgence of communicable diseases.