‘Council should listen to residents’
19 September 2016
RESIDENTS are important stakeholders in council and their concerns which they air at pre-budget consultative meetings should be taken seriously.
Harare Residents Trust made the call after a series of pre-budget consultative meetings.
Last week, the Harare City Council organised a meeting where they called several stakeholders, amongst them residents.
“Residents are now boycotting meetings as Council every year is not showing commitment to address residents’ concerns.
“The numbers attending the meetings continues to shrink every year,” said the HRT.
The HRT added “council officials are not showing concern that people are not attending their meetings, to them it is just a matter of fulfilling requirements and going through procedures.
“Even with less than 20 people in a ward Council goes ahead with the meeting when it is evident that contributions coming from a small group of people might not be a true reflection of what the whole ward wants.
It was added that “pre-budget consultative meetings held by the council every year need to be taken seriously as the fulfillment of resident’s rights depends on them.
“The feedback received from stakeholders needs to be implemented so that residents feel motivated to come for the meetings.
“Publicity of the meetings to residents still remains a problem as council is failing to effectively mobilise citizens to attend their meetings,” added the HRT.
Council however, assured residents last week that they will listen to residents’ input.
“It’s because we have found out that we cannot do it alone without your input as stakeholders.
“We take what you say seriously, this is why we called you here, it’s because we don’t know it all but we shall require you to be there to provide information for us,” said Director of Works Engineer Phillip Pfukwa at last week’s pre-budget stakeholders meeting.