Harare still to finalise 2014 budget proposals

HARARE - Two months after being elected into office, Harare city councillors are yet to propose a 2014 budget.

Peter Moyo, council chief whip, said the budget was likely to remain largely the same from last year because of the poor performing economy.

Moyo expressed concern that council was already far behind schedule as the budget was supposed to be drafted in October.

“We have been elected councillors for three months already but we have not discussed anything,” Moyo said.

“If there are going to be any adjustments to the previous budget, then it would most likely be for rates otherwise everything else is probably going to remain the same.”

He also indicated that council would be partnering with civil society and business community to come up with the budget.

Allan Markham, the chairperson of the finance and development committee, will chair the stakeholders meeting, Moyo said.

Markham said consultations were delayed because of the late Cabinet announcements and also that councillors were finding their feet.

He said his committee would have its first meeting and presentations next week and thereafter will make a date for consultations.

Harare Residents Trust (HRT) director Precious Shumba said council should make the issue of water and sewerage reticulation top priority.

Shumba said council must put more resources towards upgrading the water and sewerage infrastructure to ensure that water reaches every household, and that the water is of a high quality.

“Council must harness all revenue from the markets, roads, clamping and towing, buildings and revamp their chaotic billing system,” Shumba indicated.

He also highlighted that residents want the council to reduce their bloated workforce, which he said was top heavy.

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