By Gracious Nyati
The Parliamentary portfolio committee on Budget, Finance and Economic Development did not show up on Thursday 6 October 2022 at 10 am at the advertised venue.
The committee held nationwide 2023 budget consultation meetings from the 3rd to the 7th of October 2022.
The meetings were in line with Parliament’s obligation to involve members of the public in the legislative processes as enshrined in Section 141 of the constitution.
According to Ruwa Residents and Ratepayers Trust (RRRAT) Director Badges Chidemo, Parliament misinformed the people and disappointed them.
“Parliament circulated the misleading information on their official social media pages and the residents of Ruwa were unsuspecting victims.
“It was quite disheartening for citizens to willingly gather and wait for a high-profile committee to no avail,” Chidemo said.
Residents Express Disappointment
Furthermore, a resident in attendance Barbra Matimba said the mistake by parliament resulted in exclusion and misrepresentation.
“We had so much to say but they did not show up.
“…reforms and policies will be passed yet we were denied an opportunity to participate just because they are not organized.
“That which affects us has not been communicated.
“What we wish could be addressed is not heard.
” Therefore, they will make decisions for us based on what other people want,” said Matimba.
Another agitated attendee, Michelle Kamanga (19) described the incident as elitism which she won’t ever subject herself to again.
“It’s because they are rich politicians and we are just poor people of Ruwa.
“They will treat us however they like because they are untouchable.
“I am not attending such meetings again, this was my first and last,” Kamanga said.
Chidemo added that such actions by parliament would result in unwillingness to participate.
“In the future, it will be difficult to convince citizens to gather, it is a way of triggering apathy because the people left their income-generating proceedings only to be disappointed,” he said
Furthermore, Chidemo appealed to Parliament to send out correct information and value the people’s time.
“It is our plea that Parliament respects citizen’s time and information should be conveyed correctly, it was clearly said that Ruwa District Office was the venue, yet it wasn’t,” added Chidemo
However the finance committee clerk, Chioniso Mataruka said the meeting was not snubbed.
“The meeting was indeed conducted, it was held at Kwajuru Growth point in ward 16 of Goromonzi North constituency,” she said.
Mataruka maintained the Public Relations Department was responsible for advertisements.
“We don’t know what happened, it must have been a mix-up with the adverts.
“We only got to know about the mixup when we were called and informed.
“The Public relations team would explain best,” Mataruka said.