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Mutare eyes smart city status

by Staff reporter
19 Dec 2018 at 05:43hrs | Views
MUTARE City Council has engaged ratepayers and the business community to map the way forward towards achieving a smart city status as part of efforts to restore residents' confidence in the local authority.

Responding to concerns by United Mutare Ratepayers' and Residents' Trust (UMMRT) during the stakeholder summit held in Mutare last week, Mutare Town Clerk Mr Joshua Maligwa urged residents to work together towards a smart city and enhanced service delivery.

"As council we are not just a small body but we represent the nation in the sense that were are there to cater for the needs of over 300 000 people in  Mutare.

"We appreciate the initiative of having roundtable discussions with representatives from various sectors to air their views and possibly map the way forward. But there is need for more vigorous and frequent engagements for such stakeholders to be able to reach a level playing field and sign mutual agreements on the way forward for the city," he said.

UMMRT director Bishop Sebastian Bakare said although the association acknowledged that the city's budget was limited, there was a need to bring in the business community to create private public partnerships in projects where possible.

"We are not to attack and interrogate the city budget as we are aware of the $53 million deficit the council is facing. We, however, hope this summit brings on board funding from the business community as well as residents to sustain city projects that are beyond the council's budget. The city can only develop if a collaborative effort is put into the council's proposed projects for the coming year," said Bishop Bakare.

The lack of transparency and cases of corruption in the council's past administration has kept the local authority and ratepayers at loggerheads over service delivery.

The mistrust between the two earlier this year led to legal action being taken against the local authority due to its failure to provide audited  reports.

Mutare City Council has set aside a budget of $41, 9 million for the year 2019.

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Source - the herald