The Victoria Falls City Council has started the process of consulting residents for their input in crafting a supplementary budget in an effort to stay afloat in the wake of price hikes and the declining value of the local bond currency.
The country’s newest city which was conferred city status in 2019 is struggling with service delivery as it is owed close to $600 million by its ratepayers.
The council crafted a more than $3 billion budget for 2022 and this was approved by the government in February.
Last year the council was forced by its residents to cut down the budget following complaints about unanimous hiking of rates without consulting residents.
Council then set this June for review of its budget which is set to go up by 68 percent to keep up with rising costs.
However, consultative meetings got off to a false start as residents did not attend forcing the council to postpone some of the meetings.
Each of the 11 wards is expected to have its own meeting.
Town Clerk Ronnie Dube said the process is meant to gather people’s views.
“The city of Victoria Falls wishes to inform its residents and stakeholders that the recently postponed ward consultative meetings for formulating the 2022 supplementary budget have been rescheduled.
We encourage our highly esteemed residents to come in their numbers so that we help each other in crafting a budget that will enable us to provide service,” he said.
On Wednesday meetings will be held with non-governmental organisations and development partners as well as in wards 9 and 10.
Some residents however said attending budget consultative meetings is a waste of time as their views are not considered.
“We always attend meetings but the council would always go on to do what we would not have agreed on. Residents’ views are not considered and it’s a waste of time to go to these meetings,” said Laina Moyo, a resident of ward 6 in Chinotimba.
Residents have also complained that the council overcharges water despite the fact that there is usually no water coming out of taps during the day.