Source: Budget to be beamed live | The Herald 30 NOV, 2018
Innocent Ruwende Senior Reporter
The Harare City Council will present its budget live on television on Monday next week, with Harare Mayor Cllr Herbert Gomba saying the financial plan will set the agenda to turn the capital into a smart city.
He said the city was going to present a programme-based budget where money would be distributed according to specific programmes.
Programme-based budgets do not give room to hidden costs and allow residents to track council expenditure.
Cllr Gomba said council will be looking at ways of addressing the shortfalls in infrastructure development.
“We want to be able to proceed and finish road reconstruction and resealing that we started. Therefore, some money will be set aside for that,” he said.
“The budget will also look at expanding council schools. We want to be able to construct one in Kuwadzana and another one in Harare South.
“The budget will also look at constructing one or two more clinics. As you know, we are constructing one in Glen Norah. We are also looking at extending libraries. The budget will also look at water purification.”
Cllr Gomba said the city wanted to restore confidence of the people who consume its water, hence a large chunk of money would be spent on water infrastructure — both reticulation and purification — as well as distribution.
City corporate communications manager Mr Michael Chideme said the budget will be presented on Monday live on TV for the first time in the city’s recent history. “We want all our residents to hear for themselves and interpret the budget on their own,” he said.
“This is part of our transparency and accountability. This is a results-based budget that dovetails into the city’s strategic thrust.”
Harare Residents Trust director Mr Precious Shumba urged council to reduce rates by 30 percent across the board.
“Council’s budgeting is not being responsive to the demands and expectations of the major sources of council financing — the ratepayers,” he said.
“Most ratepayers are unemployed and suffering just as the council under the harsh socio-economic difficulties being experienced in the country.
“The City of Harare needs to undertake a means test to establish the levels of income and capabilities of the ratepayers who largely fund the budget.
“The cost of water has to come down by 50 percent to reflect its importance to people’s lives.”