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Masvingo Star Provincial Newspapers

Gutu Council adopts a ZW$46,6 billion budget


As Government tightens grip on ensuring that Local Authorities prioritise service delivery and
modernise operations towards Vision 2030, Gutu Rural District Council recently adopted a "people
sensitive" 2024 budget that takes into cognisance, the economic volatility obtaining in the country.
The ZW$46,6 billion budget was reached at after wide ranging consultations with the business
community, residents associations, various special civic society groups and stakeholders who all
demanded that the local authority be mindful of the general hardships being faced by all and need
for fair charges notwithstanding.
Presenting the 2024 budget proposal for adoption by full council which was in its maiden sitting
after the election into office of new Councillors, the Finance Committee Chairperson, Councillor
Ticharwa Kagu said: "The budget is widely consulted and people sensitive. Residents spoke and
Council took heed and responded with a budget that aims to deliver their demands at the same time
mindful of the general hardships among residents and set fair charges in light of the prevailing
economic volatility."
The budget which sailed through full council without opposition, now awaits approval by the
Minister of Local Government and Public Works after perusal and scrutiny of compliance with set
standards that it demonstrates achievement of minimum acceptable service delivery levels and that
it demonstrates compliance with all provisions of policy and law.
Guided by the recently launched Local Authorities manifesto " A call to Action- No Compromise to
Service Delivery: First Stage Interventions to Modernise the operations of Local Authorities towards
Vision 2030, the budget has its majority income and expenditure hinged on Central Government
Devolution Funds and grants amounting to ZW$25, 1 billion while Council's own revenue stands at
ZW$21, 5 billion.
Chief on the Council's own revenue sources are: fees, property taxes or development levies, land
sales, licences and permits, lease rentals and user service charges. Although charges are set in ZWL,
they can be payable in USD at prevailing bank rate of the date of payment.
Major projects the Council intends to undertake under own revenue include the acquisition of brick
moulding equipment, land fill, servicing of Mupandawana Town extension of Chomfuli Surburb and
acquisition of four service vehicles. The majority of the projects to be undertaken under the
Devolution funds are; acquisition of a water drilling rig, construction of seven clinics to add to the
eight already built under the programme, acquisition of additional tipper truck and motorised
grader adding to the ones already acquired under the same programme.
Councillor Kagu said: "The budget tries to address social infrastructure such as construction and
maintaining of our schools most of which have seen better days, encouraging economic activity
through maintaining reliable infrastructure such as roads, addressing housing problems through
availing residential and business stands and addressing health issues through the construction of
standard rural health centres and provision of water and Sanitation facilities."
The budget’s total recurrent expenditure stands at ZW$16 billion while capital expenditure is at
ZW$30.6 billion. Following traditional residents complaints against local authorities that they put
priority towards their remuneration and well being, the budget has set employees compensation of

wages, allowances and statutory obligations at ZW$6,4 billion which is 28 percent of the total
budget and within the statutory requirement that these be set at 30 percent of the budget.
The new budget comes in the wake of this year's budget whose performance has been negatively
impacted by unfavourable economic environment, non-payment compliance by rate payers and late
disbursement of Devolution funds by Central Government. The Council revenue collection for the
period up to 30 September 2023 was 14 percent disbursement of the Devolution grant thereby
stalling completion of projects started as far back as 2019.
Under own revenue, the Council collected 51 percent against a target of 75 percent of the budgeted
for funds. Revenue collection was partly affected by the harmonised elections as the bulk of
collection of development levies were rescheduled for post-election period in both communal and
resettlement areas.
The Finance Chairperson said the Council has pocketed successes in this year's budgeted projects
and these include completion and commissioning Muchekayaora Clinic under Devolution funds,
construction of Gorondondo Primary School block from own revenue, construction to 90 percent
completion of Makumbe Clinic from Devolution funds, grading of 180km and pothole patching of
110sqm and culvert construction from own revenue, uninterrupted collection and disposal of soluble
waste at Mupandawana Town that has managed to starve off the raging cholera outbreak from the
area, purchase of two service vehicles and tiling the council complex all from own revenue.–RCS

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