Thursday, December 2, 2021
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Stakeholders walk away from budget consultative meeting

Rutendo Chirume

Masvingo residents associations and businesspeople who had attended the budget consultation meeting on November 2 2021 at Masvingo Civic center abandoned the venue after council officials turned up an hour late from scheduled time.
The meeting was scheduled to start at 1400hrs but council officials including Masvingo Mayor Cllr Collen Maboke turned up for the meeting at 1500hrs.
The stakeholders who waited for an hour left the venue infuriated by the officials’ lack of communication and incompetence, saying they were not taking them seriously.
The meeting ended up being postponed due to low turnout as most of the stakeholders had walked out.
Masvingo Residents and Ratepayers Association (MURRA) spokesperson Godfrey Mtimba condemned the attitude exhibited by city council officials saying it’s not the first time council officials have done something like that.
“There is no excuse for the attitude exhibited by council officials to arrive an hour late because they will be sitting in their big air conditioned offices drinking tea with a lot of milk doing nothing while we wait for them to attend a meeting which theywould have invited us to. The authorities do not take these meetings seriously, for them it’s a mere formality which they need to fast track because they have their own budget which they need to cover up for because they know we will shoot-down the proposal.
“We respect the council and they should not take us as fools otherwise they are pushing us to do something which we would not want to do,” said Mutimba.
Masvingo Service Delivery Residents and Rate Payers Association (MASDRA) secretary general Moses Mavhusa said the meeting was a flop and the city officials deliberately decided to come late without giving any update.
“Most of the people left and after waiting for a whole hour I do not blame them, those guys should have at least communicated if there were any delays rather they do not take us seriously,” said Mavhusa.
A local business person, Oscar Chayipa who attended the meeting said he arrived late at the meeting and noticed there were very few people.
“I arrived very late at the venue and the meeting was postponed because there were very few people.
In wards 1, 2 and 3 residents have been long complaining about the city council official’s way of doing things.
Most of the meetings have been reported to flop because the city council officials fail to include stakeholders in planning rather they would present their proposals and pretend to be in a hurry.

…as residents boycott consultations

Priviledge Muchadenyika

Masvingo City Council 2022 budget consultations have been characterized by low turnout on the part of residents as was evident during the meeting held at the Building Brigade in Majange location on October 31, 2021.
Council failure to bring projected income expenditure has been attributed as the reason why few residents turned up as they were not informed of the meeting in time hence their decision to boycott.
Speaking to TellZim News Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers Alliance (MURRA) director Anoziva Muguti said residents did not attend the meeting because their input have not been included into the final draft over the previous years.
“This might be the reason why residents feel that their input have not been included into the final draft over the previous years,” said Muguti.
Another resident James Moyo said residents were likely to refuse to attend council meetings in protest because council did not bring the projected income expenditure draft that was required.
“Masvingo City Council produced a null and void budget proposal without details like the projected income and expenditure that include wage bill, creditors, debtors list and expected revenue to be collected and that means the rates increases were not justified and ward five rejects that piece of paper with all that it contained in its entirety,” said Moyo.
Patience Muza said what council did was illegal and should reconsider their decision.
“Everything that the council did cannot have a standing legal wise because it is a nullity. Council should prepare a proper budget proposal for 2022 and start consultations based on that other than the short notice for consultations given to wards five and six.
“We requested they use a hailer to inform the residents 14 days before budget consultations. Council should operate within the prescribed laws in the process and reschedule the proceedings failure to do will force residents to either approach the courts for judicial review or write to the Minister of State or Ministry of Local government about such irregularities,” said Muza.

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