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Harare Residents Vow To Challenge 2007 City Budget, Commission

The Combined Harare Residents Association has resolved to 2007 budget proposed by the state-appointed commission that runs Zimbabwe's capital city, and to challenge the reappointment of the commission's chairwoman, Sekesai Makwavarara.

At a weekend meeting the association vowed to take action to voice disapproval of the budget and what the organization characterizes as an “illegal” commission.

That body has proposed a Z$495 billion (US$1.98 billion at the official exchange, or about US$150 million at the parallel market rate). This will mean a 200% rise in local taxes and surcharges in January, and a 150% increase in May..

The city council has already increased fees at hospitals and clinics, and burial charges are expected to rise sharply as of this month.

Residents association spokesman Precious Shumba told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the group has yet to decide specific actions.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...