By Michelle Makunike
Gweru Residents and Ratepayers Association (GRRA) this week engaged residents on a budget participation process.
Speaking at the engagement meeting GRAA director Cornelius Selipiwe said: “Budget processes are stimulated if both parties participate. The budget was derived by the people not the councillor.”
He added: “Why did we choose to have 2 projects? We need a flexible budget to the residents not a budget that burdens.”
Gweru mayor Josiah Makombe said the thematic committees which were enacted were meant to incorporate the views of residents.
He further said as council their operation were a joint venture with management as councillors were not the technocrats.
“The thematic committee were meant to incorporate the views of residents and not for council to work alone,” he said
“It is crucial for you as residents to participate in this process through these thematic committees which will then give us your views in the completion of the budget”.
Added Makombe: “We want to walk together and be on the same page on the issue of vendors markets which are being constructed and we need you to register so that you benefit.”
Ward 11 resident Sibonisiwe Ncube said council was busy destroying the only source of revenue of the residents instead of promoting livelihoods.
“Our small pieces of land were taken and as council how do you want us to live while we are struggling,” she said.
“You then leave donkeys to destroy our crops instead of impounding them. You need to deal with the issue of donkeys we engaged the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and they said they don’t have the power but you as the local authority have those powers.
“As council if you want us to generate revenue from bills, I suggest you deal with the issue of donkeys and let people go about with their projects”.
Meanwhile, residents have urged the local authority to engage all stakeholders in the forthcoming 2021 budget consultations.