BY SILAS NKALA
HWANGE residents have petitioned their local board demanding the release of audit reports backdated to 2015 so that ratepayers have a better appreciation of the local authority’s financial standing.
Greater Hwange Residents Trust co-ordinator Fidelis Chuma told Southern Eye that the local board had not been submitting books of accounts to Auditor-General Mildred Chiri since 2015.
“Hwange residents want access to audited financial reports before participating in budget consultation meetings. As residents we demand that HLB should allow residents of Hwange access to audited reports as we have the right to access information as provided for by the Constitution,” Chuma said.
He also said stands in Empumalanga West phase four area were not serviced, yet residents paid for them in full.Hwange Local Board spokesperson Dumisani Nsingo said council recently received its audit report for 2015, adding that it would be presented to a full council meeting soon.
“Thereafter, the report will be referred to the audit committee for processing. It’s the norm that once audit reports are processed by the audit committee they become public documents, and as a local authority we have always adhered to that.
“All our audit reports are available to the public upon request while the remaining ones are still with external auditors,” Nsingo said.
He said installation of the water reticulation system at the Empumalanga phase four housing project was now 90% complete.
“The challenge in completing phase four was with the previous administration, but with the new dispensation it is now 90% complete. Sewage reticulation will soon begin and all this will be complete by the end of the year,” Nsingo said.
Matabeleland North provincial development co-ordinator Sithandiwe Ncube recently revealed that Empumalanga West housing project had been considered as government priority, a development which gave hope that it will be completed within schedule.
The servicing of 2 145 Empumalanga West residential stands has since been handed over to government.
The Empumalanga West project was initiated by council in 2014 in a bid to provide low-cost houses to low-income earners.
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