ZIBAGWE Rural District Council (RDC), has proposed a ZW$490 million budget for next year based on local revenue, which will be complemented by a ZW$609 million devolution funding from the Treasury.
In his budget presentation, Finance Committee chairperson, Councilor Rodgers Nhari said there were no changes in rates for the 2022 budget, adding that the prevailing market rates will be applicable in terms of S.I. 85 of 2020 on exchange rates.
He said the budget was expected to cover all critical development components of the district like water and sanitation, education, health and road maintenance amongst others.
“The thrust of the budget is on programmes rather than committees. Programme-based budgeting is a budgeting structure where money is distributed by programme or functionality and based on the nature of the activities performed by the programme,” said Cllr Nhari.
“In order to improve on water and sanitation in our district we have set aside ZW$29 million for three solar powered water reticulation projects. We intend to install these in Columbia, Bee Mine and Zhombe and on these we intend to use devolution funds.”
The local authority plans to drill 40 boreholes for the year 2022 as part of efforts to eradicate water shortages. It has also set aside $60 million for the construction of five major clinics and rehabilitation of health facilities. About ZW$30 million has been set aside for the purchase of a fully equipped ambulance in order to “curb maternal deaths.”
“Council will proceed to complete schools being constructed under phase 1 this year. Banstead Secondary, Njeremoto Secondary, Mupamombe Secondary and Ward 3 Secondary will be attended on phases at a cost of $66 million,” Cllr Nhari.
He said school furniture and electrification of some schools will gobble a combined $10,9 million. Other project includes the construction of flea markets, establishment of nutrition gardens, construction of dumpsites, solar powered water reticulation projects as well as water harvesting.
The council will also purchase service vehicles and repair existing ones at a cost of $14 million. In terms of 2021 budget performance, Cllr Nhari said the council fell short on service delivery.
“Our annual budget performance to date is 25 percent of local revenue budget of $188 million. This means that we have to date realized $47 million. While this is almost twice the $26 million collected last year, it falls short of our service delivery requirements,” he said.
The rural authority is owed $54 million by ratepayers.
“Our debtors and creditors as at 30 September 2021 have accumulated to $54 million and $18,5 million respectively. Our debtors to creditors ratios therefore stand at 2,9 to 1,” he said.
Zibagwe RDC remains committed to sustainable development, improving health facilities, functional schools and housing, reduced unemployment, sustainable infrastructure, increased food security and in general better standards of living for the people in line with Vision 2030, said the coincillor.