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Residents, Councillor clash over ward retention fund

Makokoba residents have accused their councillor Shadreck Sibanda of not consulting them in coming up with a list of development projects under the ward retention fund.

The fund was established in 2015, with each ward retaining 3 percent of its monthly rate revenue collection to fund development programmes in their localities.

The residents who attended an interface meeting on Friday with the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) officials were informed that their ward had $9.3million under the fund.  

They were also told that Cllr had proposed to use the money to put a tower light near Amakhosi theatre, street lights along Batch Street, and improve Bulawayo Municipal Compound (BMC) flats.

However, this did not go well with residents who revealed that they were not consulted.

“The representative from the finance department should explain to us why we are on ZWL$9.3 million and from how much, as a ward when did we start receiving this money,” said one resident.

“We heard that you said the councillor brought some proposed projects, which residents did he consult, we are the residents and we have priority projects that we want than the ones he brought forward,” he said

 Another resident said the councillor should have consulted residents before submitting his proposal to council.

In response, Cllr Sibanda said the residents were consulted in 2019.

“The meetings were done but when someone is absent they won’t be aware of the issues, I conducted all the meetings in 2019, I went around asking residents about the projects we can do with the ward retention funds and they proposed those projects,” said Cllr Sibanda.

 He said he then sat down with his development committee and chose the priority projects.

“To date, there are a few projects that have been done with those funds.”

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