Harare Residents Say Consultation Meetings Shouldn't Be A formality1 year ago
Harare residents have told city authorities to value their pre-budget input saying consultations should not just be a formality.
They made the remarks during consultations that commenced yesterday in ward 10, Sunningdale.
Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) acting director Ruben Akili told NewsDay that the residents’ pre-budget input is not reflected in the final documents by the local government authority. Akili said:
We encourage residents to attend these meetings so that they give their input. But these should not be cosmetic or mere ticking of boxes to say that the consultations have been carried out. We anticipate that the residents’ input will be captured and prioritised in the 2023 budget. Our observation is that in some instances residents’ needs are not captured. There is no political will.
For example, there is a crèche in Warren Park D whose construction started in the early 90s, but it is still incomplete. Budgeting towards that has been done several times. Where are we spending the money? When residents lack answers they will do deliberate disengagement.
We saw the local authority spending US$136 000 at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair. That money can even buy a refuse truck or finish a building, but it was blown within three days in Bulawayo. A total of 60 people from Harare City Council went to the ZITF, which is not a priority.
Akili urged the authorities to avoid being partisan when they invite people for pre-budget consultations as that will hinder discussion on pertinent issues.
Harare Residents Trust director Precious Shumba encouraged the council not to lease some of its facilities, but to use them to generate revenue that goes directly to council coffers.
Mayor Jacob Mafume promised to prioritise residents’ input as that enhances service delivery.