Vusumuzi Dube, Senior Municipal Reporter
THE Government has approved the pegging of travel and subsistence allowances for councillors in foreign currency.
However, the councillors will receive the allowances in local currency using the official foreign currency exchange rate.
In a circular to all councils, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works, Mr Zvinechimwe Churu stated that the new allowances were with immediate effect.
“In line with circular number 12 of 18 March 2020 and to enable you to compute the travel and subsistence levels for councillors for local travel, I attach hereto the revised Government travel and subsistence levels as contained in the Public Service Commission circular 13 of 2020. It is expected that you adhere to these new levels that come into effect immediately. The allowances shall be converted and paid in Zimbabwe Dollar using the prevailing foreign exchange rate determined through the official foreign exchange auction system,” said Mr Churu.
According to the new allowances, councillors will get the prevailing hotel rates for proved bed and breakfast per day, when absent on overnight assignments and for unproved bed and breakfast per day they will get US$30.
“Unproved meals; for breakfast councillors will now receive US$5, lunch; US$10 and dinner; US$15, while unproved supplementary allowances shall be US$5 per day,” reads a Bulawayo City Council confidential report.
According to the ministerial circular, heads of departments and accounting officers are mandated to approve the trips, consider the size of the delegation and duration of the trip.
“A member should produce proof of expenses incurred on return to the home station and monies unaccounted for should be returned at the end of the month during which the trip is made,” reads the circular.
Last year the ministry approved that the councillors get free parking space and a grave during their tenure in office. On the purchasing of electronic equipment, the ministry said if a council wishes to do this, it should be done with the approval of the ministry.
“The minister has also put restrictions on the holding of workshops, seminars, trainings and similar events outside of the council jurisdiction unless authority to hold the function at an alternative venue has been sanctioned by the permanent secretary,” reads the circular.