Hai District Council in Kilimanjaro region has complained about its budget preparatory process, saying it was wrong to table it before them just for endorsement while it had already been taken to the ministry of Regional Administration and Local Government for scrutiny.
The councillors made the remarks on Wednesday during a two-day meeting to discuss the council's budget for the financial year 2012/13.
Council chairman Clement Kwayu said the budget draft presented before them for discussion did not take into account the people's priorities because their proposals were not included.
“Looking at this draft you find that it does not differ at all from the one presented last year, except for the date. What people had suggested does not feature in it.
This is a very bad process of preparing a budget whereby it is brought to us just for endorsement while it has already received the blessing from the ministry for implementation," he said.
Kwayu added that the budget would not be a people's budget because it did not address key problems that people faced.
For his part, Machame East ward councillor Rajab Nkya said there were matters that the councillors had identified as being of priority in their respective jurisdictions, but they did not feature in the draft, citing the example of Mande Bridge, which had been destroyed, claiming the lives of five people but it was not known when the peril would end.
District Executive Director Melkizedecki Humbe refuted claims that the budget draft was similar to one passed last year, and that because of limited resources, they council would divide them in small portions to try and push forward development. The council chairman criticised the budget, saying out of the 27bn/- projected for collection, close to 19bn/- was for salaries to council staff and 3bn/- only had been directed to development projects.
“A huge chunk of the budget goes to pay salaries, only a small portion is set aside for development projects. This is a very bad system, the people out there face numerous problems including poor roads, lack of water and education services. When are these going to be addressed?" he questioned.
However, the councillors passed the budget estimates for the fiscal year 2012/2013 amounting to 27,014,797,377/-, out of which 19bn/- would go to salaries and 3bn/- would go to development projects.
The meeting also instructed the executives to set aside a total of 60m/- that would be spent on repairing rural roads that have been destroyed by ongoing rains.