KWEKWE City Council has adopted a $26,2 million standstill budget for next year with $194 000 set aside for the construction of vending stalls and ablution facilities for vendors.
The stalls are set to cater for more than 500 vendors who were operating from undesignated areas before they were ordered off the streets in the Central Business District.
Speaking during the adoption of the budget last week, Director of Finance Ms Rejoice Maweni said the council had to come up with money to cater for the vendors to bring sanity in the city.
“We had to come up with the figures after serious consultations with the department of health and that of housing,” she said.
President Mugabe recently made a call on local authorities to clear the streets of vendors. The exercise in Kwekwe was, however, stalled by the lack of preparedness by the city fathers with vendors citing poor ablution facilities and non-availability of shades at the designated places.
More than 150 vendors, council said in a statement, were accommodated during the move leaving more than 200 others with no places to operate from. Meanwhile, the adoption of the standstill budget, was delayed by a section of councillors who demanded that changes be made to the initial budget before adoption. As a result, among other changes, money for the purchase of the mayoral vehicle was increased from
$60 000 to $120 000. In a statement, chairperson for Finance Committee, Councillor Janet Ticharunga urged ratepayers to pay their rates for improved service provision.
“While council is mandated to provide affordable and efficient services to the Kwekwe community, this can only be achieved when those who enjoy the services pay for the same. The onus is on all ratepayers to regularly pay for the services, there should be no free riders,” said Clr Ticharunga.
“We are having a standstill budget for the year 2018. We will maintain the 2017 tariffs. Kwekwe City Council has a $26,2 million budget which was reduced from $30,5 million last year in order to maintain a realistic and manageable budget which is sensitive to the current socio-economic challenges,” she added.