By Itai Muzondo
The Masvingo City Council started this year’s consultative budgetary meetings last week for 2015 financial year amid allegations by Masvingo United Residence and Ratepayers (MURRA) Association that the intended meetings have failed to attract more than seven people per gathering.
MURRA coordinator Anoziva Muguti said the poor turn-up at budget consultative meetings was mainly caused by the exclusion of residence associations in such meetings as well as lack of critical feedback to the ratepayers.
Muguti said there were a lot of issues which need an explanation from the city fathers but they remained mum thereby creating a very huge rift between the people and their municipality.
expressed the failure of the much anticipated budget to the lack of explanation on ratepayer’s money, the never ending trans sewer construction and more so in neglecting residence associations in such procedures.
“The residence have so many questions towards the council which need clarification before they engage in any form of work. We are all aware of the rank incident where a council vehicle ran over a baby before being burnt by residents recently …the people expected formal feedback from the council but nothing was done. The council also neglected the quarterly budget performance review only to come back now to demand people to rubber stamp their selfish decisions,” said Muguti.
The Masvingo Mayor Hubert Fidze however, indicated that they were willing as the council to engage and work together for development with residence associations though none of these organizations has approached them .
Fidze however, disputed the allegation that the meetings were a flop saying everything was going on well.
“Who said there are problems faced in conducting consultative budgetary meetings, they are being done swiftly and are already in full swing. If anyone has a question, I am free, I am a public figure, you are free to approach me and I will attend to you. We as council are also willing to engage with these association.
“We have invited them for a strategic meeting to be held in Beitbridge which can be stepping stone towards working together. Both MURRA and Mavingo Residents Trust (MRT) will be in attendance,” said Fidze.