Gweru municipality consults residents on budget
Gweru (New Ziana) – The Gweru City Council has embarked on wide consultations with residents on next year’s budget, in order to come up with uncontested proposals.
In the consultations, residents have been divided into social groups, such as business, residents associations, women and the disabled, among others, for ease of interaction.
Speaking during consultations, acting director of finance, Owen Masimba said council needed $6,8 billion for it to, among other things, acquire capital equipment.
If that is divided among the number of households in the city, Masimba said each household would be expected to pay $38 000 per month, a figure which is beyond the affordability of many residents.
He said council had scanned the environment to see what is the cost of their inputs.
Gweru United Progressive Residents and Ratepayers Development Association director David Chikowore urged council, in crafting the budget, to consider that the economy is coming from a devastating Covid-19 induced depression.
Gweru Residents and Ratepayers Association (GRRA) executive director Cornelius Selipiwe said council should consider that residents’ incomes had gone down.
“People were being paid around US$1 000, but now they are being paid US$80,” he said, referring to differences in workers’ earnings during the dollarised era and now.
GRRA finance director Taurai Demo said pegging rates too high would only add to residents’ arrears to council, currently standing at $250 million.