Budget consultation meetings to commence…. …. without notification

Harare City Council (HCC) will tomorrow convene citywide budget consultation meetings with residents and stakeholders. This is an annual process which is spearheaded by the Finance Committee meant to solicit residents’ and stakeholder’s priorities in the budget making process. However, like before, HCC technocrats who are the hands behind this process have cleared these meetings without notifying residents. We were only able to get this information from the sources working in the Cha

We implore the Mayor of Harare to take note of our complaint (which we have put in writing to his office) that budget consultative meetings remain an integral facet in the whole governance cycle of the city. We cannot continue to have window dressing sessions were residents are expected to come and endorse voluminous documents despite the meetings not being properly advertised. Therefore we demand that the Chamber Secretary, Mrs J. Ncube release a full schedule of the meetings for residents to know when their meetings will be held.

From the meetings we have held in communities we have gathered the following service priorities:

 Residents do not want prepaid water meters. This should be augmented by the ring fencing of the water account which should be reinvested to water reticulation and infrastructural development. In Short residents want water first

 Water bills should be separated from refuse, fixed charges and Sewage. This come in the wake of different scenarios where we have seen some areas receiving water with refuse not being collected or vice-versa.

 HCC is charging $110 for illegal structures. There is no clear definition of what an illegal structure is. We have received reports of green houses, gardens, foul runs and guard rooms being classified as illegal structures which defy logic considering our socio-economic status.

 Refuse must be collected in time and council must provide at least three bins for each household in order to separate waste.

 Areas without water such as Msasa Park should not receive council bills at all because residents are buying water at commercial rates which makes it difficult for them to pay twice for one service.

 Road infrastructure in communities needs to be addressed because it is now a nightmare for one to drive especially during the night. Roads are badly potholed and this poses a deadly hazard for motorists.

Below is a list of the meetings that we have realised so far. We will be publishing a full schedule of the meetings in all the 46 wards of Harare.

WARD VENUE DATE TIME

21 Mabvuku Hall 26-10-13 10am

19 Area D Community Centre 26-10-13 10am

20 Tafara Hall 27-10-13 10am

39 Community centre 2 27-10-13 10am

34 & 36 Tendayi Community Hall 27-10-13 10am

46 Tafara Community Centre 26-10-13 10am

9 Greendale Sport Club 23-10-13 10am

CHRA is encouraging all residents of Harare to attend these budget meetings. We shall continue to lobby for the involvement of residents in budget tracking as well throughout the whole budget cycle.

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