The Zimbabwe National Organisation Of Associations Of Residents Trust (ZNOART) has criticised the ongoing rebasing of budgets being undertaken by local authorities in Mashonaland West Province and described the move as “hurried budget tampering”.
In a letter dated 29 July 2022, and addressed to The Town Clerk, Chinhoyi Municipality, ZNOART Mash West Chairperson Liberty Chitiya said a budget is an agreed plan for 12 months or a financial year and therefore, the local authority cannot tamper with willy-nilly without residents’ input.
Chitiya argued that residents stand to lose if local authorities went ahead with rebasing budgets. He said:
Rebasing is not in sync with central Government SI 118A of 2022 therefore Local Government cannot dollarize the local budget. In the process measures taken must reflect the National Budget thresholds and principles.
While the USD is a legal tender in Zimbabwe, let us remember a BUDGET is a legally binding instrument that is not optional when it is approved.
“USD ONLY” principal principle is anti- developmental in that residents will fail, for instance, to pay the USD building inspection fees thereby failing to develop stands.
The negative impact of such a move is that some residents will have their stands repossessed for failure to develop their stands as mandated in their contracts with council.
Chitiya said councils must first engage residents and get their approval and input in principle when intending to review an approved budget.
He warned that ZNOART is not going to support “rebasing” without Ministerial approvals according to the Urban Councils Act or Rural Councils Act.