Bulawayo residents attack MDC's 'authoritarian' mayor

Bulawayo residents attack MDC's 'authoritarian' mayor
Published: 29 April 2019
RESIDENTS here have taken a dig at Bulawayo mayor Solomon Mguni for rejecting objections to his mooted tariff hike.

The city fathers have been conducting supplementary budget consultative meetings, ahead of a mooted review of rates. The city argues the 2019 budget has been washed away by hyperinflation.

The local authority is proposing an upward review of its 2019 budget from RTGS$212 million to RTGS$475 million.

Residents here have rejected the proposal to increase rates citing the worsening economic hardships.

"The sentiment by your high office that there is no going back on proposed increase on rates and tariffs in the face of inflation, despite residents' resistance to a review of the city's 2019 budget is unfortunate," Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (Bpra) coordinator Emmanuel Ndlovu said.

"While Bpra understands the very stressful circumstances under which you made the decree, it is the submission of Bpra that the outcome of this pronouncement has far-reaching ramifications and effects on thousands of residents and ratepayers.

"It is our view that the Bulawayo City Council management must take time to ponder about the ‘human cost' of the decision to treat residents as ‘clients' and mere by-standers."

Ndlovu added that while the local authority has been a leader in service delivery excellence and consultation, the latest "command" decision making was a serious pushback on democracy and a return to authoritarian rule.

"As residents we shudder at such remarks and wonder whose reality really counts, whether it is that of council or the residents who are the rate payers.

"If council is to go forward and disregard what the residents have said, then the consultation process for supplementary budget that was recently carried out by BCC was misleading and a waste of scarce resources."

The residents further noted that while they appreciate that the operations of council, under these unkind times are very severe as the budget has been eroded, residents too have likewise been affected by the economic challenges as a great majority of them have been commissioned into street and market vending due to industry closure and the languishing economy.

Bpra insisted that such a decision to increase tariffs will require the buy-in of residents who are the ratepayers.

"In order to maintain a healthy relationship with residents, BCC must at least consider its residents when making decisions of such nature."
- dailynews
Tags: MDC,


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