Home » Governance » Ex-Mayor Sues Mutare Council

Ex-Mutare mayor, Brian Lesley James, has sued the council at the High Court for failing to publish the 2015 budget in the local media as a norm.

Speaking at Mutare Press Club, Thursday, James said the local authority violated residents’ rights by failing to publish the 2015 budget statement for them to make informed decisions with regards to the new tariffs and rates.

James said the case was heard Wednesday and the judgment had been reserved.

He said the council argument was more on technicality but the local authority was basically admitting that they should have published the aert.

James said the council’s argument was that it was too expensive to aertise in the papers.

“But we are saying it is a matter of priorities,” said James.

“As a private citizen I have taken them to court and that could spark more incidences from private individuals taking them to task. The idea of good cooperation is where council officials come to such public meetings and hear the grievances of ratepayers and map the way forward”.

Mutare Press Club had initially invited Mayor Tatenda Nhemarare who later excused himself, saying he was attending a local government retreat in Nyanga.

Speaking at the same event, Mutare Residents and Ratepayers Trust Director, Bishop Sebastian Bakare, said the council should desist from the “there is no money” mantra and become transparent in its financial management system.

“The council cannot continue saying there is no money. If you don’t have money please show us the little that you have in your coffers.

“Are the council accounts books audited probably they have gone for over three years without any auditing. Surely council should know that they are not talking to children.

“If the mayor was here he was not going to tell us that there is no money. Saying there is no money without showing us figures shows us that council is not serious,” said Bakare.

The Bishop said there is need for council to engage in Private Public Partnership if Mutare is to regain its lost status as the “Jewel of the East”.

“Without a formidable partnership with residents associations and other stakeholders the council will not singlehandedly overcome the challenges bedevilling the city,” said Bakare.

Source : New Zimbabwe