Harare passes $41 billion budget 

Source: Harare passes $41 billion budget – NewsDay Zimbabwe

BY MOSES MATENGA

THE financially-stressed Harare City Council yesterday said its non-performing subsidiaries would be forced to close down for failing to contribute significantly to the local authority’s coffers.

Presenting the city’s 2022 budget at Town House yesterday, finance and economic development committee chairperson Tichavona Mhetu said the $41 billion budget came as the country was under stress and economic shock due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“On strategic business units, it is recommended that there is assessment of dividends accruing from strategic business units so that council derives optimal benefit,” he said.

“There is a need to expedite the winding up of all council non-performing business entities by mid-2022.”

Mhetu said the COVID-19 pandemic caused a lot of stress on the economy, hence a strategy was needed to put things in shape.

“This has caused serious stress and strains that we have had to manage,” he said.

“The 2022 budget is prepared against a backdrop of continued uncertainties over the recovery of the global and domestic economies. There is, therefore, a need for a new line of thinking, borrowing largely from key deliverables of our strategic plan.”

Mhetu said out of the projected 130km of road network which the local authority was expected to rehabilitate, only 15km had been done.

Council blamed this on the disbursement of inadequate funds by the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara).

“We had also targeted to maintain 400km, but we only managed 297km. This sector relies heavily on Zinara funds and we have received $198,9 million, out of an allocation of $483 million, which is still inadequate given the capital-intensive nature of the works,” Mhetu said, adding that the local authority would rely on revenue from City Parking, gravel sales and billboards, among others, to fund the roads programme.

The city also increased charges for refuse collection from $565 to $778 per month or US$8 for high-density areas, while low-density areas will have to pay $1 112 up from $803 last year, or its US$11 equivalent.

For clinic fees, residents are expected to pay $495 for adults and $297 for children, up from $417 and $250, respectively.

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