BY FREEMAN MAKOPA
THE European Union (EU) has availed €1,1 million to assist five local authorities, Mangwe, Mwenezi, Zibagwe, Lupane and Redcliff, update their information systems.
Speaking during a conference on the Local Authorities Capacity Enhancement Project (LACEP) II and launch of knowledge management products, head of EU delegation to Zimbabwe Timo Olkkonen said the grant will help local authorities improve the financial management systems, including budgeting, reporting and revenue collection in the five local authorities.
“I am glad to say that the EU has been a long-standing partner in the capacity-building of the local government sector in Zimbabwe. LACEP II was implemented in five target local authorities, Mangwe, Mwenezi, Zibagwe, Lupane, and Redcliff with a total budget of €1,1 million.
“The major outcome areas of the project are as follows: Improving the financial management systems, including budgeting, reporting and revenue collection in the five target local authorities, improving their performance as well as to deliver quality services to their members and support to service level benchmarking and training of councillors after the 2018 harmonised elections,” he said.
He added: “Despite implementation of activities having been affected by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the programme has achieved tangible results that will contribute to good governance and accountability in the local authorities.”
He said the EU considers local authorities to be development actors in their own right as they have a mandate to promote development at the local level.
He added that their role as development actors has been progressively recognised by the international community and confirmed within the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation.