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Residents warn of massive peaceful demos over 2007 City Budget
Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
October 28, 2006

Glen Norah - Residents here have warned that they will stage massive street demonstrations against the City of Harare and the government if the 2007 City Budget is approved without their consent as happened on the current 2006 budget.

The 2006 City Budget was approved despite objections from residents.

Speaker after speaker at the Glen Norah public meeting held today (Saturday 28 October 2006) held at the Community Hall said the City of Harare would be putting itself on collision course with residents if the 2007 City Budget was formulated, approved and subsequently implemented without the input and consent of residents.

The residents made these resolutions following articulate presentations by CHRA representatives Matsiwo Kazuva, the Ward 15 Coordinator and also a member of the Programmes Committee, and Jabusile Madyazvimbishi Shumba, the Advocacy and Training Officer.

Kazuva said CHRA does not promise to change overnight the lives of Harare residents or promise them money or other flashy incentives.

"What we as CHRA assure Harare residents is the establishment of a viable and formidable grassroots movement that assist them to understand and know their basic civic rights and responsibilities," Kazuva said.

"Residents need a sound education on the budget-formulation mechanisms. We believe that if we push our issues and unite in response, we will succeed. Key issues that we need to be addressed in the upcoming budget are the city's health delivery system, and the cost of seeking medical attention at both municipal clinics and hospitals."

Shumba said high expectations from the residents on the 2007 City Budget must not be derailed by an illegal commission that thrives on illegality and lawlessness.

He urged the residents of Harare to spearhead the process of mobilisation against the doomed 2007 City Budget basing their position on three key principles of the legality of the principals of the budget, impropriety of the budget formulation process and the illegitimacy of the system driving the agenda.

"Residents must reject the city budget on the basis that it is coming from illegal people with dirty hands," Shumba said to a round of applause from the strong 90 plus people in attendance. "The commission lacks the mandate of residents to represent them. The whole process is illegitimate. If they proceed to formulate, present to the government and approve for implementation the 2007 budget then they are warned that residents of Harare will not sit back and watch thieves continue to destroy their future".

He forecast rates would be doubled, and in some cases trebled beyond the reach of the majority. He said by objecting in their thousands against the proposed budget to demonstrate their capacity to determine how their city is governed.

Residents pointed out that they needed the City of Harare to devote more resources to infrastructural maintenance, development and upgrading. Other key issues include HIV/ Aids, water supply and administration, sewerage reticulation and Residents resolved to reject the City of Harare Budget 2007 for three major reasons;

  • The Makwavarara led commission is illegal and has leaved beyond the legal mandate and therefore they do not have the legitimacy to draw up the budget.
  • ZINWA must be disbanded, its establishment is nothing more than an unnecessary additional administrative cost, inefficient bureaucracy in water supply and administration.
  • The City of Harare has not consulted with the residents; the process of budget formulation is illegitimate.

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