Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent
ZIBAGWE Rural District Council in Midlands Province is set to purchase motorbikes for its 33 councillors in a move expected to improve mobility and boost revenue collection in the process.
The council chair will get an official vehicle. In an interview, Zibagwe RDC chief executive officer Mr Farayi Machaya said they had already deposited for 10 of the motorbikes which will be distributed with priority being given to the worst affected wards.
He said the money for the motorbikes will be deducted from the councillors’ allowances. Mr Machaya said the move was arrived at as the rural authority sought to boost revenue collection.
“We realised that our councillors had problems in accessing some areas. Remember we have mines and some grinding mills that are far apart from each other. The motorbikes will therefore help, not only councillors but other officials to easily access those mines and collect the council’s dues,” he said.
Zibagwe RDC is one of the biggest with a number of mining operations dotted around the area. In a proposed 2021 budget, Mr Machaya said to date the 2020 budget performance was at 58 percent. The rural authority proposed and adopted a $188 million budget for 2021.
“We have to date realised $15,8 million which translates to 58 percent of our annual local revenue budget of $27,2 million. On inter-governmental fiscal transfers, we got $3,7 million out of a budget of $45 million,” said Mr Machaya.
He said debtors and creditors ratios stood at 2,6 to 1. In the 2021 budget, Mr Machaya said, it was a programme-based budgeting structure where money is distributed by programme or functional area and based on the nature of the activities performed by the programme. The rural authority set aside 14,7 percent of local revenues for capital expenditure which includes office furniture and construction of staff houses.
A total of $33,5 million has been allocated for road rehabilitation complimenting the annual Zinara allocation. The local authority also targets to purchase three departmental vehicles and has set aside $9,5 million for that reason. Other projects include water and sanitation, borehole drilling, purchase of an ambulance, electrification of schools, construction of clinics and classroom blocks and dumpsites.