Devolution boost for Masvingo council budget

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Masvingo (New Ziana) – Devolution funding contributed over $9 million to the Masvingo City capital expenditure budget for the first half of the year, officials have said.

According to the city’s 2020 half year budget review report, the local authority spent $14.9 million in the first six months of the year out of the $110 million total capital expenditure that had been budgeted.

Of this expenditure, devolution funds contributed $1,2 million for the construction of Garikai and Takawira markets and $7,9 for the Mucheke Trunk Sewer.

Council itself only contributed $5,6 million towards procurement of six motor vehicles, construction of market sheds, furniture and fittings, launch of website, set up of Rujeko Isolation Centre and Runyararo West Clinic.

The Ancient City fathers had planned to undertake 19 major capital projects but only managed to kick start eight projects. These include the Rujeko Isolation Centre which was not initially budgeted for but foisted on the council by the outbreak of the Covid-19. The local authority, however, got some $689 337 for the health facility from the Ministry of Health and Child Care.

“Capital expenditure for the period under review amounted to $14.9 million, constituting 22 percent of total expenditure. This is against a capital budget of $110 million for the period. Thus, actual capital expenditure constitutes 14 percent of budgeted expenditure. Revenue contribution to capital for the period was $65.6 million and only $5.1 million was utilised representing 7.8 percent of the budget. The balance of the capital expenditure was funded from the Devolution grant. This performance underlines the difficult economic environment as well as the challenges with collecting revenue,” the budget report said.

The budgeted amount for the upgrading of the markets was $1,8 million with the actual expenditure being $1,4 million of which $204 954.81 were funds availed by the local authority and $1,1 million coming from the devolution grants leaving a balance of $419 251,63 from the projected budget. The upgrading is on-going with only three sheds being completed and now operational.

The Mucheke Trunk Sewer, according to the review, was pegged at $6,4 million with the actual expenditure being $7,9 million. All the money came from the devolution grant. The project is still in progress and the council was able to procure all the necessary materials with additional funds carried over from the previous year’s devolution grant.

The local authority had budgeted for the purchase of motor vehicles at $29,2 million with the actual expenditure being $3,9 million for the procurement of six vehicles. Over $100 000 went towards furniture and fittings and another $800 000 towards the launch of a website and network upgrading which is in progress.

Runyararo West Clinic had a budget of $2,5 million but the actual expenditure was $475 337,98 with $308 508 coming from the beer levy and $166 829,98 coming from the Constituency Development Fund. The project is still in progress and upgrading of Rujeko Clinic to a Covid-19 isolation centre was completed during the period. Council contributed $233 198,44 while $689 337,45 came from MOHCC.

Other projects that are yet to be undertaken include the water reticulation, water mains upgrade, water augmentation phase 2 and the new landfill.

New Ziana

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