MWENEZI – Residents of Rutenga, Mwenezi’s biggest urban settlement have rejected the rural district council’s budget process after accusing local authority officials of bringing inadequate information to the consultative meeting.
Two meetings have been abandoned so far with the latest being on Wednesday last week.
This week’s meeting was taking place at Rutenga Hall and residents numbering about 40 gathered. Representing council at the meeting were assistant Finance Officer Runesu Muzvidziwa, Physical Planner Johane Chigarire, Engineer Taurai Mucheto and Ward 18 Cllr Albert Mashiri. Residents mainly comprised vendors and the business community.
The meeting was stopped after council and residents had clashed on the budget procedure as council only brought Rutenga tariff schedules without an actual budget showing income and expenditure for the district.
Mwenezi Chief Executive Officer Albert Chivanga said he was attending a heard workshop out of town when contacted for a comment.
Tinashe Shumba a spokesperson for the business community said there is need for transparency and accountability from council particularly when dealing with ratepayers and the local business community.
Sources told The Mirror that council brought figures for just one ward for the budget consultations. They said that the figures brought to the meeting did not have income and expenditure for the whole district but just for Rutenga.
They also said that even that information which was brought to the table had a lot of inaccuracies.
Tineyi Mapepa, one of the residents told Two Nations that residents demanded council to give a whole picture of the district not just Rutenga.
“We feel that council is playing hide and seek with residents and probably are hiding some issues from us. Instead of bringing the full budget to the table they just brought a tariff schedule which is a one way payment by residents. We need to know the income and the expenditure and if they are other projects which were done through Government fiscal transfers or own revenues, this should also be made known to the people during consultations,’’ said Mapepa.