...paltry US$1 million for Mpandawana town
GUTU - Gutu Rural District Council (GRDC) has approved its 2017 budget which is pegged at US$2.439 million and will cater for both the council and the new Mpandawana Town Board.
The budget was approved by full council last week with indications that the Town Board will receive just over US$1 million of the budget, a development which has drawn the ire of residents who feel the rural council is cheating the town.
Many residents feel the town board must be allocated the lion's share of the budget arguing that council revenue is collected mainly from Mpandawana residents, and not from the rural areas.
The cost of external auditing was, however, not approved after councillors raised objections saying the report had not been presented to them prior to the full council meeting.
Alexander Mtembwa, Gutu RDC Chief Executive Officer, said the failure to make the audit report available to councillors was an oversight and promised to table it at the next full council in December.
Meanwhile, residents of the new town of Mpandawana said they were not happy that the Town Board had, for a second consecutive year, failed to craft its own budget.
"When the Town Board was put in place last year, we were promised that it would be covered by the rural council's budget only in 2016 and not beyond that.
"This is the reason why we have repeatedly said Mpandawana's new town status should be gazetted to enable the town to be weaned off the rural council.
"The interests of the councillors in the rural component of the council and those of the Town Board are poles apart and the new town needs to be separated from the rural council," said one resident.news