Residents reject 2015 budget


RESIDENTS’ associations in Gweru say they will launch several petitions in their latest bid to have the city’s 2015 budget reversed.


Gweru Residents and Ratepayers’ Association chairperson Cornelia Selipiwe told a press conference on Monday that they would continue to challenge the budget by getting residents to sign a petition against the city’s financial plan for 2015.

The city fathers resolved to adopt the 2015 budget in a meeting last week. Selipiwe said it was not reasonable for the council to expect the residents to pay more rates if the council was already failing to collect the current debts.

“If a vendor is failing to raise $10 now for a vending licence, how will they be able to raise $15 in the current economic situation?” she asked.

“We will not allow the council to just ignore our calls, but we will approach them with a petition that is signed by the residents to show how unhappy they are about this (budget).”

Association members that attended the press conference suggested that copies of the petition be forwarded to the Provincial Affairs minister Jason Machaya and to Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo.

Gweru City Council approved a $31 million budget for the 2015 financial year, an increase from last year’s $24 million, with a proposal to increase the revenue income tariffs by 35% across the board.

The council says salaries account for 40% of its total expenditure.