Residents groups under the banner of Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) have rejected the Harare City Council’s 2018 budget saying it is unrealistic and not people driven, 263Chat can reveal.
In a letter addressed to the Local Government Minister, Savior Kasukuwere, CHRA noted that the 2018 budget falls far short of addressing major concerns raised in the recently concluded 2018 Budget consultations.
“The Consultations for the Budget process for 2017 did not meet the standards that allow for effective participation for the major stakeholder, the residents,
“Many of the meetings were poorly attended, cancelled due to short notices and poor communication with communities,
“We are of the view that many voices of the citizens remain uncaptured in the 2018 budget process…in violation of circular number 3 of 2012 issued by the Minister of Local Government, seeking to promote effective citizen participation,” wrote Chief Executive Officer of CHRA, Mfundo Mlilo.
He added that the City of Harare failed to present the consultations report which is a fundamental aspect of the budget process.
“Our association made it clear to your Worship and the City Bureaucracy that we expected the production of this report as a fundamental aspect of proving vital information for the budget process,
“As an association, we conducted our own independent consultations and we have produced a report which we have attached to this letter,” stated Mlilo.
CHRA further noted that the presented budget has failed to comply with the Ministerial directive on the management of service delivery and administration costs that is, the 70/30 principle.
“The budget proposed a salaries and admin budget of USD$116,6m about 44% of the total budget, this is completely unacceptable considering the current state of service delivery,” read Mlilo’s letter to Kasukuwere.
Mlilo said they welcomed the removal of fixed water charges for domestic users expressing disappointment that the city fathers “gives with the right hand, and takes with left”.
“We noticed from our analysis that the cost of water for domestic users has increased from 25c per cubic meter to 70c per cubic meter. This translates to an increase of about 28 0%,
“This astronomical increase will force residents to dig deep into already empty pockets, we appeal to your worship to reconsider this increase and reverse the proposed increases,” added Mlilo.