Harare City Council Budget Beggars Belief

Andrew Kunambura

THE struggling Harare City Council (HCC) recently passed its 2016 budget without any discussion, amendment or dissent.
Serve for a few protests in the form of press releases and social media outbursts by the city’s residents’ associations during the budget consultations, there was total silence, generally. It was only HCC’s finance committee chairman, Trynos Moyo’s voice that billowed through the packed chamber on the evening of October 23 as he rumbled through the 34-page budget statement.

Bemused councillors blankly stared at him as he flipped through the pages, perhaps most of them not making any head or tail of it.

This possibly vindicated the capital city’s mayor, Bernard Manyenyeni’s recent observation that there was serious illiteracy in council, an exposé he is now vehemently denying because it triggered serious salvos from the councillors.
Only two people could be spotted in the public gallery, which usually fills to capacity on such occasions when stakeholders stampede to hear what the city fathers would have in store for them as the city’s financial year makes way for yet another.
At the end, the mayor opened discussions on the budget to the floor.

As expected, there was no objection, no amendments proposed — and the US$343 million budget sailed through.

Just like that!

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