HomePoliticsHarare set to lose $400b

Harare set to lose $400b

Augustine Mukaro

HARARE City Council is set to lose over $400 billion in uncollected revenue due to the delayed implementation of the 2005 budget.

ca, sans-serif”>Acting city treasurer, Cosmas Zvikaramba, revealed to the Zimbabwe Independent that the $1,4 trillion budget which Harare is seeking will raise council revenue from the current $30 billion a month to over $100 billion.

Zvikaramba said delays in implementing the budget would prejudice council of more than $400 billion in uncollected revenue.

Highly-placed sources in the treasury department said the delay would worsen the cash-strapped council’s financial position.

“Harare is collecting around $30 billion against an expenditure of $45 billion (monthly),” sources said. “Any further delays in effecting this year’s budget will ground council operations.”

The Sekesai Makwavarara-chaired commission is seeking to increase rates and other council service charges by a minimum 300% in the 2005 budget.

Proposals for refuse collection charges will shoot from the current $1 363 to $7 000 per month. Water charges will rise from $28/cubic metre for the first 10 cubic metres to $800 for the same quantity of water. Households normally don’t use more than 100 cubic metres of water per month. The price of graves will rise from $65 000 to $250 000.

The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) said this year’s budget delay was the longest in 10 years.

“This is a record delay over the past 10 years we have been monitoring council operations,” Chra chairman, Mike Davis, said.

“The delay is indicative of the extent to which Harare has collapsed. Until such a time that the city is in the hands of an elected leadership, Harare will not regain the sunshine city status.”

Davis said under normal circumstances, the budget consultation and formulation process is held at least six months before presentation so that the final proposals incorporate stakeholders’ contributions.

“Consultative meetings that took place last week were a sham,” Davis said. “The Harare City Council needs to find alternative means of engaging residents. The meetings they advertised failed to meet residents’ satisfaction.”

He said his association was concerned at the poor attendance at meetings held in Dzivarasekwa, Les Brown, Highlands and Greendale, among other areas.

All local authorities are obliged to submit budget proposals to the parent ministry by October 30 each year.

The financially-troubled Harare City Council has for the second year running missed the deadline to submit its budget to the Local Government ministry for approval.

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