Mutare City Council diverts residents attention from the ongoing budget consultations

By Tinashe Muzama

This comes after a local youth rights group, Manica Youth Assembly (MAYA) condemned Freestone Mines for running afoul with the country’s constitutional obligations by ignoring the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process. Mutare City Council leased its 6, 5- hectare stand situated at the deforested Dangamvura mountain to Freestone Mines so that it can establish its stone quarry mine.
The lesser will be exempted from paying rentals to the border town authority during the first eight months of the lease agreement. “The lessee shall pay to the lessor an annual rental of US$7557 for the use of site. As an exemption inceptive, the lessee will be exempted from paying rentals during the first eight months of the duration of the lease agreement,” the lease agreement reads in part.
Mutare City Council rolled out its budget consultations interface meetings with residents in all the urban wards of Mutare in the first week of November. Consultations were in line with the Urban Council’s Act Chapter 29:15. These meetings came with controversy against the backdrop that they did not do proper justice in advertising these public hearings so that residents can amplify their voices towards the City of Mutare 2022 Budget. Low turnout of residents for the 2022 budget consultation and formulation was the order of the day in the wards. The 2022 budget consultation and formulation process is still an ongoing process but the City of Mutare saw an opportunity to do a paradigm shift of bread and butter issues and change the narrative by putting attention on the Freestone Quarry Mining. At this point, residents are left with two weeks to write their objections to the council as advertised by City of Mutare through Manica Post.

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