Munyaradzi Musiiwa, Midlands Correspondent
THE Ministry of Finance and Economic Development is in the process of synchronising its system with that of the finance departments of all local authorities, a development which is expected to curb corruption and embezzlement of funds.
The exercise, which will help Government monitor how the funds are handled by local authorities, is being funded by World Bank.
Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister, Cde Saviour Kasukuwere yesterday confirmed that the local authorities and the Finance Ministry were working together as a matter of policy.
“What you have observed is correct. The local authorities are working with the Finance Ministry as a matter of policy. There is an arrangement of that nature,” he said.
Officials from the Finance Ministry are visiting all local authorities in the country with the view of synchronising their systems with that of the Government, a move which is likely to improve the efficiency and transparency in rural and urban councils.
On Wednesday, officials from the Finance Ministry visited Gweru City Council where they were assessing the department of finance and engaging the local authority so that they can synchronise the department of finance to enable operations between the two parties.
Gwere Town Clerk, Ms Elizabeth Gwatipedza said the ministry wanted to see the feasibility of harmonising the department of finance with the Finance Ministry.
“I had a meeting with the officials from the Finance Ministry who informed me that they have embarked on a nationwide exercise where they are harmonising the local authority’s department of finance and the ministry. They came to us and we are still discussing on how we are going to undertake the programme. This also comes at a time when we had embarked on an automation exercise to improve the efficiency of our system. The ministry claims that the programme is being sponsored by the World Bank,” she said.
Ms Gwatipedza said automation would also improve service delivery and payment convenience.