RESIDENTS in Mutasa Rural District Council (MRDC) on Friday last week stormed out of a 2020 pre-budgetary meeting in Penhalonga, complaining of inadequate notice, while also accusing the local authority of using them to legitimise a budget they had not contributed towards.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
Residents of ward 21 in Tsvingwe refused to listen to council officials who had come for the pre-budget consultations and walked out of Tsvingwe Community Hall soon after the opening prayer, leaving council officials bemused and speechless.
The meeting was also attended by Mutasa South legislator Regai Tsunga (MDC Alliance).
Tsvingwe Residents’ Association member Patrick Chikoti said the local municipality was taking them for granted as it had already hiked tariffs three-fold without consulting ratepayers.
“It was a short notice and we were not expected to give our input in just a few hours.
Consultative budget is not window shopping,” he said
“We want to write an objection. We are going to meet as residents on Saturday because we believe that council has already made its decision. Coming to us is just a formality. We have since realised that rates and tariffs have been increased three-fold.
“Our ideas are being thrown into the dustbin, why, (for example do) we continue to pay for sewer when the sewage system is not working,” he said.
Tsunga weighed in, saying he was going to engage the local authority over the issue.
“I saw what happened today (Friday) and I am going to engage the council so that we can find a way forward. I think residents might have genuine issues which need to be addressed. I am also going to attend the residents’ meeting next Saturday so that I can have an appreciation of their concerns,” he said
MRDC officer George Bandure confirmed the incident.
“The large number which attended did not attest to the short notice, they alleged. They prefer meetings on Saturdays and not mid-week which request we acceded to,” he said.