KAROI Town Council has bumped up its 2023 budget after Local Government minister July Moyo shot down its first proposal.
The amended budget was adopted on Friday during a council meeting which was also attended by residents’ associations, business committees, government officials, church leaders, vendors, among others.
The ministry deployed a five-member team from January 16 to 20 2023, to help council address issues raised by the minister before he shot down the first budget proposal.
Council finance chairperson Thomas Mbiri said the budget was now pegged at $6,5 billion from the previous $4 billion.
“There is a marginal increase that will be noted by residents and stakeholders. This is due to value-added tax increase from 14,5% to 15%,” Mbiri said.
He added that the council was owed $351 million by ratepayers.
“Our budget projection is aimed at providing educational infrastructure development, health, and road rehabilitation among other services for the community.
“This can be achieved as we strive to attain municipal status by 2025. Our budget of $6 584 386 046 will be financed through the adoption of by-laws, valuation rolls, among others. We hope to increase our revenue collection by the well-planned accounting system,” Mbiri added.
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Council chairperson Abel Matsika confirmed the development.
‘‘We had a series of meetings with stakeholders and residents including business communities. We were racing against time and we had our final finance committee meeting in the morning before a full council meeting to endorse the budget.
“Minister Moyo noted our mishap and called us to order. We came back to make corrections and am happy that everyone is now part of the success story,’’ Matsika said.
Alion Nhamo, the head of a technical team deployed by the minister, called on residents and business owners to pay up.
“The onus is for everyone to be able to pay for the service so that the figures presented remain effective in social services delivery for the town’s growth,” Nhamo said.
Hurungwe district development co-ordinator Andrew Tizora called for continued engagement of all stakeholders by the council.
The Local Government ministry has rejected budget proposals submitted by four local authorities, namely Karoi Town Council, Murehwa Rural District Council, Binga Rural District Council and Lupane Local Board.