Kwekwe residents petition Local Govt Minister over supplementary budget

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By Staff Reporter

KWEKWE residents who are resisting the adoption of a supplementary budget recently adopted by the council have petitioned Local Government Minister July Moyo to stop the implementation of the tariff charge sheet.

Council last week resolved to proceed with their plans to effect a 300% increase on all rates, a move that has been vehemently opposed by rate payers.

The MDC led council has angered residents who feel they are being overburdened by a council that was pursuing skewed priorities.

Kwekwe Residents and Rate Payers Development Association (KRRA), in a petition which is set to be handed over to Moyo, council had not followed procedure and not consulted residents.

“The approval of the supplementary budget came against our objections of the same on the 1st of July 2019. We objected the budget citing the fact that the increments were too high and also that we are not happy with the local authority’s financial management.

“.. we requested an audit which is yet to be done,” KRRA said.

The resident’s representative group further expressed dismay over council’s decision to exclude it from the budgetary process.

“Only 70 people selected by the councillors in their wards attended the meeting, which is not a fair sample of the city. Again, the seven people were selected on political party grounds which left out key stakeholders.

“The local authority only gave copies of the budget to Councillors who distributed the budget on party lines,” read the petition.

Meanwhile, the residents association secretary general Alex Homela said there is no justification on the rate increase.

“The supplementary budget will cause untold suffering to residents considering the cost of living in view of the existing socio-economic challenges facing the country,” Homela said.