BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
RESIDENTS association leaders in Marondera on Friday walked out of a council strategic planning meeting held in Macheke in protest over the council’s failure to pay them allowances.
The leaders also accused council of failing to compensate them for the fuel they used to travel to Macheke to attend the three-day meeting.
At the meeting, residents association leaders demanded fuel reimbursement, but the demand fell on deaf ears.
Marondera Residents Open Forum (Marof) director Tapiwa Chengeta confirmed the walk-out, accusing the Marondera Municipality of ill-treating them.
“We walked out of the meeting due to unfair treatment. There is no way that we as residents’ associations could fund our trips to Macheke for five days when the same council was fuelling its own vehicles. Council refused to give us fuel for the five days and we moved out on the third day. That is unfair treatment. After all, it is us who pay and fund council operations,” Chengeta said.
The leaders accused council of wanting to exclude them by holding the strategic planning meeting in Macheke, which is about 34km from Marondera town, saying council had enough facilities to hold such gatherings.
“Council should embrace inclusivity in its totality. In any case, residents own the town and contribute to its development as funders. As such, it is imperative that the town management treat its stakeholders with the humility and respect.
“Holding a strategic planning workshop far away from the town when there was no provision of fuel was basically a way of excluding the very same stakeholders. Council should not hold its strategic review meetings without all stakeholders. We call upon council to see the light and realise that Marondera cannot be Marondera without the people of Marondera,” Chengeta said.
- Follow us on Twitter @NewsDayZimbabwe