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Bulawayo CCC councillors challenge tariffs hike; on collision course with dominant Mwonzora bunch

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 By Bulawayo Correspondent 


CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) councillors in Bulawayo have taken a collective stance that the local authority should not increase tariffs in the 2023 budget.

The agreement sets a collision course with the Douglas Mwonzora led MDC-T councillors and council management.

This comes at a time Bulawayo City Council (BCC) is expected to start the 2023 budget consultative meetings in all the city’s 29 wards.

Speaking to journalists ahead of the consultative meetings, the CCC councillors said it was not logical for the local authority to increase tariffs which have been pegged in US$.

“CCC is a pro-poor party and a party that was built to give hope to the suffering masses of Zimbabwe. We believe in making the lives of our people better through consultations, innovation, creativity and being resourceful.

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“It is from this background that we are making it clear that as a party, we want the tariffs from 2022 to be maintained and no increase should be instituted so as to give relief to the citizens and business community who are rate payers in this challenging economic environment,” said Arnold Dube, a spokesperson of the CCC councillors during the press conference on Thursday.

Dube said instead of increasing the tariffs, the council should come up with other revenue collection streams which do not necessarily burden residents.

“We are very much on the side of the citizens and business community and hence our position is not to continue burdening them with increasing rates and tariffs as a means to meet the budget in this volatile operating environment that is worsened by inconsistent policies from the central government and low disposable income,” said Dube.

The councillor said by maintaining the same tariffs, the council will also be incentivising the local business community.

The councilLors also urged residents to attend the consultative meetings in their numbers.

Of the 29 Bulawayo city councillors, CCC has 9 councillors while the MDC-T has 19 councillors while Zanu PF has one councillor.