16 by-laws to fund Karoi’s $4 billion budget

KAROI Town Council

KAROI Town Council (KTC) will enact 16 by-laws to sponsor the local authority’s $4 billion budget for next year.

Acting town council finance director Fred Mumiriki told stakeholders at a consultative meeting on Friday that the by-laws were part of measures to “broaden revenue” bases for the council.

‘‘The council is looking for avenues of collecting revenue without reliance on residents and our business community. We hope the by-laws will help us in boosting financial revenue collection,’’ Mumiriki said.

Of late tobacco merchants flooding the farming town have enjoyed “free funds” without paying to develop the farming town.

 Some informal vendors from out of town take advantage of the laxity of town by-laws and avoid paying the local authority.

He said as of September 30, the council had collected 53% of its $1,4 billion 2022 budget.

“The revenue collection improved following the rebasing exercises as some services are being paid for in US dollars. Our service delivery is now better since fuels and oils are paid for strictly in forex,’’ Mumiriki said.

A total of $351, 577 million was owed by mostly ratepayers in the high-density areas of Chikangwe, Chiedza, Peter Groot, Kubatana, the business community and churches, according to Mumiriki.

The budget under review had expenses of $399 million, with salaries taking $136,5 million; and general expenses at $185 million.

Creditors including Print Flow (ZWL$379 000), TelOne (ZWL$527 627,29), VAT (ZWL$6 153 219,17), Liquid Telecom (ZWL$156 195, 30), Zinwa (ZWL$3 471 291,90), Funeral Fund (ZWL$62 812) among others have not been paid.

Statutory obligations amounting to $57,33 million were due to organisations including Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra), National Social Security Authority (Nssa), Standard Levy, Local Authorities Pension Fund and Zimbabwe Manpower Development (Zimdef).

Council finance committeechairperson Thomas Mbiri underscored stakeholders support of the local authority as a positive development.

‘‘Our council has gone through tough times after senior managers were suspended for various allegations but our own community stood with us during trying times. This is positive,’’ Mbiri said.

Zimbabwe National Organisation of Associations and Residents Trust (ZNOART) secretary-general Fastion Mangezi recommended a database for council properties.

‘‘We hope our council will be sincere in implementing property evaluation so that people pay for what they have instead of a uniform exercise on properties. We need an updated database of council properties,’’ Mangezi said.

Local bank officials recommended that the council upgrades its ICT systems in the revenue collection sector.

Council audit chairperson Kudakwashe Chigumo said the system will be implemented soon.

‘‘As an audit committee, we want to have any council business online. We have requested machinery so that we embrace ICT as a council,’’ Chigumo said.

The stakeholder's meeting started consultations that will continue this week.

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