By Staff Reporter
THE Kwekwe City Council was this week forced to abort its consultative meetings after residents snubbed the process aimed at brainstorming and making proposals on the city’s projected 2021 budget.
Mayor Angeline Kasipo called off one of the meetings in the central business district last Wednesday at an event witnessed by NewZimbabwe.com.
“It would be a mockery to proceed with the whole process. We are forced to call off this meeting as we cannot have a consultation with only three residents. That will be a mockery to the whole budgeting process,” Kasipo told other councillors gathered.
“We need to get input from residents on this budget but we cannot do so with three people. We are, therefore, postponing this meeting to a later date.”
The municipality has 14 wards and residents’ attendance, according to Kwekwe Residents and Ratepayers’ Association, has been pathetic in all the wards.
“The reason is simple, the process of organising budget consultations was poorly advertised to the residents,” Alex Homela, the Kwekwe Residents and Ratepayers’ Association secretary-general said.
He highlighted only 70 residents had turned up for the budget process in all wards.
“This is reflective of a yawning gap between the residents, policymakers and council management. They (council) are working in isolation; they are not including residents in their programmes. That’s why the council is getting such a pathetic response from the residents.”
In most council wards in the gold mining town, not a single resident attended the consultations, forcing embarrassed councillors to abandon the process.