Kwekwe — The rivalry between the city council and residents over the 2012 budget is set to drag on after the local authority advertised the disputed financial estimates in the local Press last week.
A day after the budget was advertised in a local weekly, the Kwekwe Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Development Association (KRRDA) executive met on Saturday and resolved to challenge it.
KRRDA alleged council failed to explain questionable figures in the $198 million capital budget. Council proposed to buy three calculators for $300, five cars for management at $90 000 each and laptops at $2 000 each. Residents have disputed the figures saying they were not justified.
“We went around sourcing quotations for items on the capital budget, the most expensive 16-digit calculator we found was $32, a laptop was $900 and cars around $40 000,” said Alex Homela, the KRRDA secretary-general.
This is the reason why we have challenged this budget for the past two years and since nothing has changed we are mobilising to reject it again.”
During budget consultations, residents told city mayor Shadreck Tobaiwa the budget must be revised downwards. Tobaiwa promised ratepayers their concerns would be taken into consideration when the budget was formulated and that they would see the draft before it was approved by council.
But a week later, council advertised an unchanged budget. Tobaiwa told councillors during a full council meeting last Friday the proposed budget was justified since the local authority wanted to improve service delivery.
“We have to ensure that we don’t stifle service delivery,” he said,
“We can’t be bound by people who come to these meetings with agendas. Our budget has the capacity to perform.”
Meanwhile, residents say they will petition Local Government, Rural and Urban Development minister Ignatius Chombo to intervene in the dispute.