MARONDERA residents and the business community have taken their council to task for delaying 2023 budget consultations under unclear circumstances.

Marondera Residents Open Forum director Tapiwa Chengeta said they would take legal action to force the local authority to begin budget consultations.

“In terms of the provision of the law, local budget consultations should be held much earlier so that they feed into the national budget. We are not amused by Marondera Municipality’s failure to hold  consultations up to this date. The ministerial deadline is already on the window. Hurried consultations are a disaster,” Chengeta said.

“As residents we will resist any attempt to force the residents into a hurried process when we had all the time during the year. We will approach the courts if it is the last thing we have to do.”

In the past, the local authority has been accused of imposing budgets on ratepayers.

Marondera Urban Business Forum chairperson Emmanuel Danha said the business community was disturbed by the conduct of council management.

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“It seems this has become an every year norm whereby the Marondera budget consultation processes are never taken seriously by council,” Danha said,

“Some town councils and municipalities started this in July or August and now they are at advanced stages. Sadly, we have not seen any kind of movement from the powers that be and we are already in late October with the actual final budget process due for the minister in November,” he added.

Mayor Simbarashe Nyahuye said the consultations would start on Monday.

“We were (busy) working on the budget so that when we present it to the residents and other stakeholders, they will be happy with it,” he said.