The government has moved in to plug out financial leakages amongst local authorities ahead of the implementation of the devolution of power which is a constitutional mandate.
The government is leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that the country’s supreme law is respected with local authorities now being engaged to ensure they put in place sound financial systems ahead of devolution of power.
Accountant General Mr Daniel Muchemwa says officials from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in conjunction with the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing are currently capacitating local authority officials through a series of trainings so that they implement a standardised accounting system network.
“We want to have a common charter of account that allows us to ensure that as we devolve, accountability is effective at the lowest level. Devolution is not about transfer of power, but transfer of responsibilities so that if you are not happy with the City of Harare you can raise your queries that this is not working,” says Mr Muchemwa.
According to the Principal Director for Urban and Local Authorities Ms Erica Jones, local authorities as arms of government are required to have a centralised form of accounting system that link with government for them to perform their duties effectively.
“Government is trying to modernise its accounting procedure and one of the hallmarks of modern accounting is having a single central accounting system,” says Ms Jones.
The centralisation of accounting systems for local authorities is viewed as the answer to deal with the rot that has characterised most local authorities as they stand accused of putting their own personal interests ahead of service delivery which happens to be their core business.