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    Friday, 11 March 2016

    Mberengwa RDC has lowest budget of US$1,6 m




    ELIZABETH MASHIRI
    ZVISHAVANE BUREAU

    ZVISHAVANE
    - Despite being mineral rich, (Emerald, gold and diamond) Mberengwa has one of the lowest approved annual budgets for any district council in the country of only $1,6 million.
    Mberengwa RDC chief executive officer (CEO) Julius Mashavakure confirmed the approval of the January to December 2016 budget by the relevant Ministry but he even doubts the local authority's capacity to meet the target because revenue comes mainly from communal farmers who this year are hard hit by drought.
    Mashavakure said Mberengwa is endowed with rich mineral resources but the local authority gets nothing from the miners because they pay dues to the Ministry of Mines.
    "We do not have any major projects to talk about in our budget  because council has no money. Almost 100 percent of the revenue comes from communal farmers and because of this drought it's most likely that we will not be able to collect anything.
    "Mberengwa district has a lot of mineral deposits that council should benefit from but the Mines and Minerals Act drags us down because more powers are giving to the Mining Ministry.
    "They are a lot of Miners which one in our district and when we approach them for revenue they produce papers from the ministry which give them authority to extract. Miners are just paying to the Ministry and leave out the local authority because we do not have powers to shut them down if they do not pay and it is a big challenge," said Mashavakure
    The Ministry of Rural Development, Preservation and Promotion of National Cultural Heritage has approved Mberengwa Rural District Council's $1,6 million budget for the financial year January to December.
    Mashavakure said Mberengwa council budget was approved in early February.
    "Mberengwa RDC 2016 budget of $1,6 million was approved in early February by the Minister. There is a slight increase in our budget from $1,5m and we managed to collect 49% of that from our sources of revenue last year," said Mashavakure.business news

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