Residents shun budget consultations


By Chenjerai Gumbeze

CHEGUTU – OFFICIALS from Municipality of Chegutu were embarrassed recently after residents boycotted council’s 2022 budget consultation meeting at Gatsi Shopping Centre.
Locals numbering less than 20 attended the meeting, chaired by Ward 12 Councillor, Revai Mahano, at an open ground at the shops. The boycott irritated the councilor, who read through the hard copies without elaborating on the statement.
The theme was “2022 Budget achievements, challenges and the way forward.”
“As a council we have managed to achieve some of our targets under hard economic conditions,” explained Cllr Mahano.
The council, he said, had undertaken many notable developments, which included installation of high lift pump sets at the water treatment plant, rehabilitation of roads, land reclamation and roads opening, installation of tower lights in different wards, solar street lights in CBD, construction of a substructure at a primary school in Kaguvi Phase 4 and procurement of 10 desk top computers, among others.
On the installation of 1000 postpaid domestic water meters in other wards, Cllr Mahano said this had the advantage as one paid what one uses.
A resident, Trynos Mada, suggested that it would be wiser for council to focus on one project at a time rather than many, which the council would eventually fail to complete.
”Ndinoona sekunge mukaita mapurojekitsi enyu rimwe monogona kupedza basa pane kubatabata mabasa hobho, hamuzopedza manje,”said Mada.
Chegutu Acting Town Clerk, Jacob Chikuruwo said the sporadic increase in the cost of goods and services, which was inflation driven affected the ability of council to finance the planned projects and other inescapable recurrent expenditure.
“The unavailability of foreign currency during the period affected the ability of council to retool through the acquisition of capital equipment and key infrastructural improvements,” explained Chikuruwo.
He reiterated that ratepayers must pay for the bills and rates to beef up council coffers which are totally empty.
Acting Engineer Elisha Tichivangani Mususa said the council’s fleet was aged, resulting in high maintenance and repair cost. Therefore, new plant and equipment needed to be procured.
He also called on residents not to vandalise council water, sewer and road infrastructure.
”Vandalism of council water, sewer and road infrastructure by some criminal elements among ourselves is a very serious offence,” said Eng Mususa.
However, the council is sourcing for collaborative ventures with established corporates like Zimplats, Pickstone Mine, Karo Resources and other notable organisatios to rehabilitate water reticulation system for Chegutu, which require about US$500, 000.
Councillor Mahano thanked those who attended the meeting, saying their views represented the whole Chegutu community.

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