Residents slam ‘cosmetic’ consultations

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CHITUNGWIZA and Manyame Residents’ Association (Camera) has slammed the town council for holding “cosmetic” 2018 budget consultations, with residents strongly speaking against council’s intention to hire debt collectors to improve revenue collection.
BY PAIDAMOYO MUZULU

The association said the town was not taking residents seriously by holding less publicised and hurriedly organised meetings, which attracted few people, thereby negating the whole purpose of consultations.

“The residents and stakeholders in attendance rejected the use of private debt collectors by council as this compromised the social contract that existed between the local authority and the residents and ratepayers,” Camera said.

“Council was urged to use its internal debt recovery systems rather than hire external debt collectors that financially burden the municipality and those residents in arrears.”

Council has over the past seven months been in the courts trying to recover its attached goods for failing to pay its creditors who included service providers and retrenched employees.

The residents were further irked that the city fathers were not in attendance to hear for themselves their
concerns.

“The local authority itself does not attach great value to these consultations as in the absence of the suspended mayor, his deputy, the entire councillors and the town clerk George Makunde,” Camera said.

“Only commissioner Joshua Mabhiza, the finance director Evangelista Machona, the deputy director of health, Herbert Chiroodza, and the acting public relations officer Aaron Mhonyera attended the four poorly attended meetings.”

The council held only four meeting in the sprawling dormitory town attended by a cumulative less than 300 residents. The meetings were held at the municipality nursery at Makoni shopping centre, Unit L Community Hall, Zengeza Administration Offices and St Mary’s Hall.

The residents said in future, the council should conduct budget consultative meetings in each of the 25 wards than holding them at four venues.

They also urged the local authority to provide residents with the previous budget performance at the meetings so that they could make informed decisions in their input.