Thursday, November 30, 2023

Chiredzi residents threaten to sue council over budget

Beatific Gumbwanda

CHIREDZI-The newly appointed Chiredzi Town Council Secretary, Engineer Wesley Kauma has opened his chapter at the local authority with threats from Chiredzi Residents and Ratepayers Association (CHIRRA) over the inclusion of the Town Chairman’s vehicle and rehabilitation of Inyathi road in the 2024 budget, which they say will give unnecessary burden to residents.
Chiredzi Town Council recently proposed a US$9,5 million 2024 budget, which included a number of developmental projects like the rehabilitation of Inyathi Road, which was once funded by the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Program 2 (ERRP 2) whose construction was prematurely abandoned due to lack of funding from the central government, and purchase of Chairman’s vehicle among other things.
Recently, Chiredzi Residents and Ratepayers Association (CHIRRA) wrote to Engineer Kauma, instructing him to pluck off the US$738 000 for Inyathi Road rehabilitation from the 2024 budget citing that the road falls under the ERRP national blitz.
CHIRRA is also requesting the local authority to remove Chairman’s vehicle purchase from the 2024 budget arguing that there is still a vehicle for the chairman which is still in good shape.
“On behalf of Chiredzi Residents, CHIRRA is kindly urging you CTC to withdraw the Chairman’s vehicle from the 2024 budget.
“We support the purchase of management vehicles with the exclusion of the Chairman’s budget on the 2024 budget. The chairman should use the GD6 single cab from the pool of administration.
“Please note that Inyathi road is a national road on ERRP and with the huge budgeted amount, it cannot be feasible for the residents of Chiredzi to fund the road,” reads part of the letter.
Chiredzi Residents and Ratepayers Association also cited that they are going to take legal action if council gives former Chiredzi Town Council Chairperson Alderman Gibson Hwende that vehicle saying that his benefits should be in form of stands.
“We are saying in short no vehicle should be disposed to Alderman Hwende, the former CTC Chairman. If you go ahead and dispose of the vehicle we will take legal action and this will jeopardise your probation period Town Secretary.
“The previous council verbally agreed to give a handshake package to former Chair Alderman Gibson Hwende in form of land in low lands which you the Town Secretary did allocate Alderman without a council resolution. The new councilors cant discuss the issue of the vehicle in terms of law and policy,” Reads part of the letter
There was once a debate in the local authority where half of the councilors voted for the local authority to give Alderman Gibson Hwende the vehicle whilst the other half refused saying council had no capacity.
Among the projects targeted for the year 2024, the local authority proposes to purchase five management vehicles at a total cost of US$275 000, construction of Makondo Clinic at the tune of US$80 000.00, purchase of another refuse compacter at an estimated tune of us$140 000.00, construction of a new primary school pegged at US$100 000.00 and rehabilitation of Inyathi Road at US$738 000
Writing on his official Facebook, Chiredzi Central Constituency Member of Parliament and former council vice chairperson Ropafadzo Makumire said he had met with the Minister of Transport who promised to finish construction of the road.
“I met with the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development on the sidelines of the Pre-Budget seminar and briefed him about the unfinished Inyathi Road. The road links Chiredzi CBD with the highway and Tongaat. Good news, he promised to quickly get the road completed,” said Makumire.

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