Harare Mayor, Councillors clash over 2018 budget
Harare Mayor Councillor Bernard Manyenyeni has clashed with councillors over his decision to reject the proposed $328,2 million 2018 budget over hidden costs and expenditure contained in the financial plan.
Ward 28 councillor Wellington Chikombo said that Manyenyeni should approve the budget and not go against it. He said that his refusal was an indication that he was being used by residents’ associations. Said Chikombo:
He is signing as he is expected to after council makes a resolution,” he said. “He is expected to sign it as a grown-up man and stop behaving like a child. If you hear that he is not signing, he is making himself the city, instead of working for the city. I am worried that the Mayor is being abused by people called residents’ associations. He consulted his ward and I also consulted mine, (so) who are these people masquerading as leaders of the people?
Ward 13 councillor Peter Moyo also accused Manyenyeni of being influenced by residents’ asssociation which rejected the budget on the basis that proper consultations were not done. Manyenyeni said that he could not sign a budget that had been rejected by residents’ associations. Said Mayenyeni:
The issue that is coming out of residents is that the budget formulation process has not been to their satisfaction in terms of notice, involvement and participation. The submissions have come through, the budget has been formulated, but the reason I am refusing to sign is that there are certain fundamental things that are not addressed. Until those things are addressed, the budget will not perform, council will not perform. Council service delivery is suffering because our wage bill is high. I have talked about our sports budget, particularly football, I have talked about the Employment Council which gobbles $1,2 million every year which is equivalent to 12 garbage trucks.