Letter from Harare Residents Trust
This serves to advice you that the City Of a Harare has placed a notice advertising their 2013 notice Budget instead of advertising the proposed tariffs in comparison to the previous year’s budget .Section 219 (2) (a) and ((b), (3), as a residents body , concerned with issues of accountability by policy makers and service providers and issues of transparent utilisation of public resources, we are providing this information so that you as ratepayer and a responsible citizen, are informed and take an appropriate and informed response when dealing with the City of Harare . From the first day that the City advertised in the Herald on 2 November 2012, 30 days are legally required for residents and ratepayers to visit Town House or any of the 18 District Offices to inspect the proposed 2013 budget. After inspecting the budget, a citizen comments or objects to the budget in writing, addressing the concerns to the Town Clerk for consideration before the budget is finally adopted by the Council and subsequently being endorsed by the Minister of Local Government Rural and Urban Development.
Based on above legal position, today (Wednesday 14 November 2012) the HRT sought an explanation from the City Treasury Department on why they wilfully violated the Urban Councils’ Act on budget formulation by not putting the tarrifs in their advertisement.
The HRT Lobby and Advocacy Officer Ms Pretty Chabuda called the City Treasurer Mr. Misheck Mubvumbi who got unnecessarily angry with the HRT for acting like police men or security people who want to know everything concerning the Council.
For the record, the City of Harare belong to ratepayers and other stakeholders who are legally obliged to receive municipal services and who contribute their monies through payment of rates and rentals. Mr Mubvumbi is an employee of the residents of Harare and has an obligation to provide all requested information concerning financial matters of the City of Harare- a public entity, acting on behalf of central Government.
We have sought legal opinion on these developments and we are firmly advised to seek a court injunction to stop the City of Harare from further undermining legislation governing the administration of local authorities supervised, by Minister Ignatius Chombo.
The HRT expects that the City Of Harare does the honourable thing under the circumstances. Our representatives have confirmed that the proposed 2013 City budget is not available at all District offices for inspection by residents and ratepayers according to the law. From the time it is made available the HRT will begin to count 30 days required by the law to accord residents and ratepayers an opportunity to comment / object on the proposed tariffs and priorities of the Budget. Mr. Mubvumbi has assured the HRT that by 1530hrs today the proposed 2013 budget copies will be available at Town House and selected Council clinics and District Offices which he did not specify.
It is now 12 days gone by without any sign of the budget being made available for public inspection by the citizens, leaving the residents with only 12 days instead of 30 days for inspection. As a citizen you must disregard the 26th November 2012 deadline given by the City Council to inspect the unavailable budget.
The HRT is curious to know whether there was a Ministerial directive not to publish the 2013 Budget tariffs, suggesting maybe the City Treasury had indicated that they do not have enough money to buy newspaper advertising space as the money had other priorities. It is ironic that the City has already approved the purchase of US$ 350 000 dollars worth of top of the range vehicles for the Town Clerk Tendai Mahachi and the Chamber Secretary Mrs Josephine Ncube who both earn around US$18500 and US$15000 monthly salaries.
Ms Pretty Chabuda, HRT Lobby and Advocacy Officer (0772 771 860)
Below please find the advertised notice by the City Of Harare on 2 November 2012 in the Herald;
Harare City Council Tariffs 2013 Budget
- Owners rates and supplementary charges
- Water charges
- Burial charges
- Refuse Disposal
- Rents High Density
- Housing Administration fees
- Public Health fees
- Licence and Health registration certificates
- Parking charges
- Traffic enforcement fees
- Ambulance fees
- Vehicle licence fees
- Hire of Stadia and Halls
- Swimming pool charges
- Other related charges
Notice is hereby given in terms of section 219 of the Urban Councils’ Act (Chapter 29:15) that the Harare City Council proposes to review the above mentioned with effect from 1st January, 2013.
A copy of the proposals will be open for inspection at Town House foyer and at all District Offices during normal working hours between 0800hrs and 1700hrs on any working day. On Wednesday proposals open for inspection from 0800 hours to 1600 hours
Any ratepayer who has any objections to the tariffs can lodge his/her objection in writing to the Town Clerk on or before close of business on 26th November 2012
Town Clerk, Town House, P.O BOX 990, Harare, Corner Julius Nyerere Way/ Jason Moyo Avenue