Gweru residents have rejected council’s recently approved $3,2 billion budget accusing city authorities of rushing it without addressing concerns raised during consultative meetings.
Government last week approved the city’s $3,2 billion 2021 budget, which will see tariffs going up by more than 60%. But, Gweru United Progressive Residents and Ratepayers Development Association Trust executive director David Chikore yesterday said council ignored input from residents during consultations.
He said residents would lobby for the review of the approved budget.
“The city fathers at Town House are celebrating the early approval of the 2021 budget which imposes a 60% quantum leap (sic) tariff on an already overburdened population.
“The budget implementation is targeted to start immediately at a time most people are under (COVID-19) lockdown. It is against this background that we shall continue to lobby both council and central government to consider to review downwards this anti-people budget,” Chikore said.
He added: “The input of participants during budget consultations was ignored by the final drafters of the product (budget) which they went on to present to the Local Government minister. When we attended these meetings we proposed to council to peg tariffs at 53% of the 2017 budget which would have resulted in a people-friendly budget.”
Mayor Josiah Makombe could not be reached for comment at the time of going to print.