BY KENNETH NYANGANI
RESIDENTS of Rusape are up in arms with their local authority after it increased tariffs by almost 500% without consulting them.
This was revealed yesterday by Concerned Rusape Residents Trust (CRRT) chairperson Godfrey Mufuranhewe, who claimed that the municipality made the decision unilaterally, yet they had agreed on a 50% hike.
“During the budget consultative meetings last year, we told them that the budget was too heavy for the residents and we agreed that it was supposed to be raised by 50%. Unfortunately, it fell on deaf ears and what we agreed at the meeting as 11 wards was never implemented,” Mufuranhewe said.
“Why are they wasting our time, money and energy by asking us to attend budget consultative meetings knowing that the residents and ratepayers’ input will never reach the Local Government minister July Moyo’s desk?
“Why waste ratepayers’ money by holding workshops in Nyanga and paying huge fees to management and government officials — only to rubberstamp useless discussions at the expense of critical service delivery?”
He said the residents had since declared that they would continue to pay the old rates.
Acting town secretary, Charles Chindenga said the tariff hikes were a result of the budget consultation process.
He claimed that the residents were widely consulted.
“The tariffs are charged as a result of the budget consultation processes and were arrived at after taking into consideration the cost build-ups and the number of projects planned for the year among other factors.
“The residents were widely consulted during the budget consultation period using the same projects and tariffs that were implemented in January 2021 after obtaining ministerial approval,” he said.
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