Gweru City Council (GCC) has resolved to index bills in foreign currency with ratepayers being able to settle their bills and services using the prevailing auction rate.
The local authority’s 2022 budget of $4.9 billion, which was approved by the Government, has depreciated by over 72 per cent.
GCC communications officer, Vimbai Chingwaramusee, confirmed the development. She said:
We are seeking to comply with Statutory Instrument 118 A of 2022, which directs suppliers of goods and services to charge their goods and services at the interbank rate plus 10 per cent.
The City of Gweru buys goods and services for its service delivery value chain at the interbank rate plus 10 per cent and it becomes apparent that it has to recover its costs at the interbank rate plus 10 per cent.
So the City of Gweru seeks to use the interbank rate in the payment of bills as a result of the local currency’s volatility.
She said that the local authority had decided on the move as a means of closing the gap between revenue and expenditure. Added Chingwaramusee:
The City Fathers are aware of challenges faced by residents, they are aware of what they are going through and as such opted not to come up with a supplementary budget over and above complying with the interbank pricing regime.
You will note that inflation is also soaring closing at 191 per cent for June 2022, so as much as there are price changes due to exchange rate volatilities, there are also changes due to inflation among others, the reason why you reckon there are price changes even in USD denominated prices.
On Wednesday, Gweru residents reportedly walked out of the budget review meeting in protest over the absence of printed old budget copies. The meeting had to be postponed.
More: The Sunday News