HARARE – Harare mayor Jacob Mafume says the city’s infrastructure is now 20 years behind its rehabilitation schedule and regrets the authority’s endless financial woes that have made it impossible to undertake the necessary repairs.
Mafume said this following a recent 2022 budget interface meeting held in Harare.
The once sunshine city has seen continued mushrooming of dump sites in undesignated spaces, potholed roads, inadequate clean running water and dilapidated infrastructure.
The mayor said as at 31 August 2022, Harare City Council was being owed ZWL$45 billion in debts by ratepayers.
“This means that the financial position of Council is not sustainable,” Mafume said.
“Our infrastructure has a backlog of over 20 years and this area is an investment opportunity.
“The private sector needs to invest in this city. We cannot depend on the rates account for infrastructure development. Devolution funds as a source of revenue is also not performing.”
Mafume said ZINARA allocated the Harare ZWL$825,812 million but the authority has since received ZWL$248.7 million from the fund, making it impossible to complete works on city roads that were earmarked for rehabilitation.
Discussing the budget performance for the 2022 financial year and the priority areas for 2023, council bemoaned the inadequate disbursement of devolution funds by July Moyo’s local government ministry.
“From the presentation by our Budgets Section, it is very clear that your City is not doing very well in terms of implementation of capital projects and the reasons have been clearly outlined,” said the mayor.
“The devolution funds disbursement has been very low and this affected implementation of some capital projects,” Mafume said in his budget presentation.