Andrew Muvishi Mashonaland East Correspondent
Marondera residents last week rejected the town’s proposed 2022 budget presented by the municipality which propose an increment in rates of more than 150 percent.
The proposed budget has sharp increases compared to the one for the previous year.
Residents’ organisations in the provincial capital – the Marondera Residents Association (MARA), Marondera Residents Open Forum (MAROF), Marondera Urban Business Forum (MAROF), Combined Marondera Residents Association (COMARA) and Marondera Progressive Residents and Ratepayers Association (MPPRA) – all rejected the proposed budget.
They advised council to come up with projects that generate income to reduce the burden from rate payers.
“There are items that you quoted at unrealistic prices and that need to be revised,” said Cephas Mazambani, the chairperson of MARA.
“You also intend to purchase too many quantities of some items and that is a cause for concern for us as residents. Do not pile misery on us.”
In response to the residents’ plea, council finance director Mr John Kachingwe said the 2022 budget will stick to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works.
“We have a proposal to increase our budget for next year by up to 150 percent and its aspects are guided by the guidelines that we are given by our parent Ministry of Local Government,” he said.
“Such guidelines include the drafting of a realistic budget, citizen engagement, programme based budgeting and resource mobilisation, among others.
“This means that we have to find each other. Residents, the business community and other ratepayers might have concerns with some aspects of this budget, but at the end of the day, we must reach a consensus and move forward, all what we want is the development of our town.”