Ministry of Local Government and Public Works has approved ninety-two budgets for 2023 presented by local authorities, with four being rejected for various reasons.
Minister Moyo and his staff undertook a rigorous process of budget analysis and consequently approval.
Budgets that were not approved were for Murehwa Rural District Council, Karoi Town Council, Binga RDC and Lupane Town Board.
Murehwa RDC officials will now have to meet Local Government Permanent Secretary Mr Zvinechimwe Churu, to relook into their budget.
A team has also been sent to Karoi Town Council to assist in the proper crafting and adoption of the budget by council.
Binga RDC and Lupane Town Board have been asked to explain their budgets, which do not seem “achievable because of the level of tariffs”, said Minister Moyo.
“All budget tariffs have been captured in both US$ and ZWL to allow councils to track the exchange rate movement in line with S1 185 of 2020 over the whole year. Most councils proposed standstill budgets except for a few who have made increases. Some of the increases were occasioned by a relook of council’s revenue sources, which have expanded because of following Rural District Councils Act, Urban Councils Act or their by-laws.”
Minister Moyo added that all councils had been directed to produce by-laws by January 31, in order to support their budgets.
All local authorities have been urged to upgrade their Enterprise Resource Program (ERPS) to the LADS platform in order to raise their revenue collection capacities
Minister Moyo said most local authorities finalised their final accounts, which are ready for auditing but there seems to be some delays by private auditors appointed by the Attorney General.
“We acknowledge that most local authorities have initiated or completed their property valuation process. Councils were urged to undertake general valuation rolls in order to establish their property values which subsequently improves their property tax.
“The Ministers of Finance and Local Government have set aside funds through devolution to allow all councils to do their valuation rolls. Completion of valuation roles gives a true picture of local authorities’ asset base and is where taxes are derived from. This is also a good measure to crafting the GDP of a local authority, province and ultimately the nations GDP,” he said