…don't expect any improvement in service delivery, residents told
Itai Muzondo in Gweru
GWERU – City of Gweru this week approved its US$38.6 million budget during a stakeholders meeting held in the Mayor's Parlour and was quick to tell residents that the money was not enough to improve service delivery.
After a short moment of no response to the mayor's request to move a motion of budget adoption, one participant finally moved the motion saying there was no need to further argue over the budget.
"You have called us here for nothing new but to approve a budget that we once debated on. There is no need then to further debate but to just approve the budget and see how it performs in the coming year," said the participant.
As the budget was being presented, Town Clerk Elizabeth Gwatipedza warned people not to expect anything new, saying the current budget was only adequate for the maintenance of current operations, and not for the improvement of service delivery.
Her sentiments however come at a time Gweru residents have accused her of being extravagant while the city is struggling to deliver services to residents.
"We should not really expect major developments from this budget as it is not enough to cater for all our arrears. An example is our Zesa debt which sits at $24 million. Once we try to settle that, then our coffers would be empty and I should say Zesa has been very lenient with us.
"That is the same challenge we face in improving other services like water. The pumps cost a lot and with this budget and the current economic situation, we cannot really do anything other than to maintain the already existing infrastructure.
"It would have been a good idea to introduce levies for such services as water and roads so that we have an extra fund to take care of all that. I however heard the finance director saying it was not yet time for that but cities like Chinhoyi and Masvingo have greatly benefited from those," Gwatipedza lamented.local