CHIREDZI residents have rejected a $208 million proposed 2021 budget by the Chiredzi Town Council, arguing that the local authority intended to use it to purchase vehicles for its top management.
BY GARIKAI MAFIRAKUREVA
In an explosive budget consultative meeting that was held in the council board room last week, residents proposed that council should come up with a policy that protects council property, especially vehicles.
This was after Francis Moyo the former council chairperson went away with a three-year-old Toyota D4D vehicle when his term ended.
The vehicle was allegedly sold to him at book value after a contentious council resolution.
Moyo, who was ward four councillor decided not to stand for a second term and opted for a parliamentary seat, but he was defeated by the incumbent Chiredzi West MP Farai Musikavanhu in the 2018 Zanu PF primaries.
The council is expected to gobble over $20 million of the 2021 budget in purchasing vehicles.
A section of the budget which was contested was the one that dealt with the proposed construction of two public toilets in ward three using devolution money at a cost of $8 million, which translates to US$98 000 using the current auction rate. The residents argued that the figures were overstated and could result in a distorted budget.
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United Chiredzi Residents and Ratepayers Association (UCHIRRA) advocacy officer, Bernard Dachi, handed out two letters written to the town secretary Charles Muchatukwa in 2018 and 2019, demanding that council should come up with a policy that protects council vehicles from abuse.
“In 2018 and 2019, we wrote to you demanding that you come up with a policy that protects our vehicles after we lost one of our vehicles, but you chose to ignore the suggestion. So as residents we are saying unless we have such a policy, we are rejecting your proposed budget,” Dachi said.
The Chiredzi RDC was also accused of wanting to buy a refuse compactor using devolution funds from government.
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