City of Harare (CoH) mayor, councilor Bernard Manyenyeni has slammed the authority’s decentralization scheme, under which wards are supposed to retain 25 percent of the collected revenue, saying it is not working.

Contributing to a discussion at the City of Harare’s decentralization review workshop, this afternoon, the mayor said the city is only collecting 20 percent of the possible revenue inflow, but it is dreaming of paying out 25 percent, which doesn’t make any business sense.

“Money is not there, we are collecting 20 percent of revenue and we want to pay out 25 percent. It doesn’t work.

“The only people who are benefiting are the hotels on which we are hosting workshops like this one. We are wasting our time here, sharing something that we do not have at all,” he slammed.

He added that instead of day-dreaming over the 25 percent scheme, council could have been discussing how best to make use of the 12 million it is able to collect. Manyenyeni urged his council to eat what it can kill, saying if possible it could be better to reduce the retention amount to 10 or 5 percent which is more realistic basing on what the local authority is currently collecting.

In his presentation at the workshop, CoH acting director of finance, Stanley Ndemera revealed that at zonal level revenue that is being collected is by a great margin falling short of the billed value.

“In February, amount billed was 18 million of which council managed to collect only 3 million; in March and April the billed values were 20 million for each month of which 5 and 4 million were collected respectively,” read part of his presentation.

Few months ago CoH council agreed to decentralize its operations, and all its 42 wards were grouped into zones, to which each zone was to retain 25 percent of collected revenue, so that service delivery would be localized.