News and Events

LACEP 1 News and Events

 

 


 

Accounting Manual Review 1-5 February 2021

The LACEP 2 in partnership with the Ministry of Local Government Public Works National Housing through the Financial Advisory Services unit and in partnership with the Association of Local Authorities undertook a virtual 5-day workshop to review the Accounting Manual for Local Authorities. The technical writing group consisting of Treasurers, Finance Directors, Internal Auditors and representatives from the Ministry of Local Government Public Works National Housing convened to ensure that the final draft document Had provisions and standards which were consistent and compatible across all types of Local Authorities from City Councils to Rural District Councils.

In her opening remarks, Principal Director for the Ministry of Local Government Public Works National Housing, Ms Erica Jones indicated that the workshop, albeit virtual, was a long time coming as it was essential to craft a “legally correct document that will establish the integrity of the systems used in Local Authorities.” Accounting is not static, new standards and financial instruments are driving significant change. As a result, the periodic review and amendments of the Accounting Manual for Local Authorities is not only necessary but a requirement. The manual provides the system of accounting that is to be used by Local Authorities.  It should contain the specific accounting policies that have been developed for application by the Local Authorities.


Whilst trying to navigate the virtual approach, given that this was the first of its kind for Local Authorities and their parent Ministry. The representatives successfully managed to ensure that the reviewed Accounting Manual for Local Authorities collated insights on the updated accounting standards and financial reporting requirements.  The Accounting Manual will be a good basis for Local Authorities to build trust with their clients by ensuring accountability and transparency in service delivery.


Redcliff Municipality looks to WhatsApp to improve revenue collection.


Local Authorities have the responsibility to deliver services to residents in a fast and efficient manner, and to deliver these services Local Authorities require financial resources and institutional capacity. Local Authorities have two main sources of income, their own revenue, and intergovernmental transfers. The challenges that beset Local Authorities across Zimbabwe is that of revenue collection, this challenge has been further exacerbated by the unprecedented pandemic, COVID-19.  


LACEP 2, with funding from the European Union, is supporting targeted Local Authorities to build their capacities on Public Finance Management (PFM) and Integrated Financial Management Information Systems (IFMIS). The poor performance in revenue collection by Local Authorities is indicative of a problem in their procedures and systems.


With support from LACEP 2, Redcliff Municipality is employing a WhatsApp Revenue Collection platform for Local Authorities. The platform was developed to support Local Authorities engage their residents as most of the residents are on WhatsApp and less on mobile banking.  This initiative comes as interaction between the residents and the Municipality has been fragile. This has manifested into slow reporting of service area challenges e.g. Sewer, potholes, water burst thereby affecting Council response time. In addition, the budget process has not been inclusive due to scheduling of consultative events during business hours. This has resulted in delays due to justifiable objections raised by residents and lastly inconvenient payment of bills due to the need to provide proof of payment for payments done remotely using biller code or ZIPIT. Some residents have accumulated arrears despite being up to date with their payments.

The new initiative undertaken by Redcliff Municipality seeks to address the challenges faced in the past. The new “WhatsApp Chatbot” platform will expectantly yield positive benefits for the Local Authority such as improved reporting of incidents, logging of faults and complaints, enable residents to participate in Council surveys including budget consultations on their mobile phones. In addition, it will enable improved engagement with Council on any other issues pertaining to Council business, assist residents to check their bills from anywhere and at any time and lastly process bill payments on WhatsApp using any mobile payment platform or ZIPIT and your account automatically gets updated.

 


Enhancing Service Delivery one service delivery charter at a time: LACEP 2 supports Lupane Local Board in the development of Service Delivery Charter

Mr. David Matumbike, Facilitator, LACEP 2

Lupane, the provincial capital of Matabeleland North is the home to Lupane Local board which was established in March 2007. The Local Board currently has no wards; the Local Authority’s area of jurisdiction constitutes part of ward 15 of neighbouring Kusile Rural District Council. The lack of clarity on Lupane Local Board’s boundaries has bred conflict with its neighbouring LA as it remains unclear to whom Lupane Local Board should provide services, most importantly from whom it should collect revenue. Read More>>

 


 

LACEP enhances the capacity of  Lupane Local Board and Redcliff Municipality in Geoinformatics.

 

The Local Authorities Capacity Enhancement Project 2 (LACEP 2) facilitated the implementation of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to enhance the technical and human capacities of Lupane Local Board and Redcliff Municipality in geoinformatics. This support falls under their Urban Councils’ Association of Zimbabwe’s Service Level Benchmarking’s Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs). The Geo-information and Remote Sensing Institute (GRSI) of the Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre (SIRDC) provided the trainings and on-the-job coaching. Considering the unprecedented Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) reality, the initial proposal was based on a virtual/online approach for the integration of GIS in the targeted LAs. However, with the easing of COVID19 restrictions was a change in method to include a mixed approach to conduct the trainings and activities.

 Redcliff group with an expert from SIRDC during  the on the job coaching

The introductory to Course GIS, some on-job-coaching and the Advanced GIS Course were delivered face to face. GIS will allow the two Local authorities to manage ad share spatial information with staff and residents. In addition, GIS helps LAs to perform routine tasks faster and with more sophistication that traditional manual methods do. The establishment of skills and the raised level of awareness of the benefits of GIS by Lupane Local Board and Redcliff Municipality are factors for the successful design and implementation of GIS.

 


LACEP 2 supports engagement of stakeholders during the COVID 19 – Budget
Consultations

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic changed not only the way organisations operate but also the manner in which they engage and communicate with stakeholders. Local Authorities Capacity Enhancement Project 2 (LACEP 2) in partnership with The City of Bulawayo (BCC) ensured that community engagement was sustained by regular information and dialogue for Local Authorities in the South Western region while being accessible and relevant to the community. The COVID 19 protocols which posed various restrictions such as: meetings of not more than 50 people, social and physical distancing. The unprecedented COVID 19 required a shift in how we engage our communities and for us to establish a ‘new normal’. How we interact with our communities to ensure we achieve a balanced and representative response to our projects, was the crux of the partnership between LACEP 2 and BCC.  Read More>>

 


LACEP Kenya Study Visit on Devolution and Citizen Participation

 

 

LACEP conducted a study visit to Kenya from 21 - 26 November 2016 for a delegation of eighteen comprising of representatives from the Zimbabwe national government, local authorities, local government associations, civil society and project staff.

The study visit which forms part of the project activities which aim to raise awareness on the New Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment No. 20 Act of 2013 with emphasis on the Constitutionalisation of Local Government.  The study visit to Kenya which focused on two topics Devolution and Citizen Participation was motivated by some similarities which the two nations share, as both are implementing new Constitutions which  mandate for Devolution of Powers to Local Governments and strongly promotes the active role of citizens in governance issues.

Programme | Presentations | Documents

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Participatory Policy Making in Local Authorities: Review Workshops

The thirteen LACEP participating Local Authorities and selected Civil Society Organisation's operating under their areas of jurisdiction were once again provided with a platform to interface under LACEP. Two clustered provincial capacity building workshops held in Gweru (6 - 7 April, 2017) and Bulawayo (10 - 11 April, 2017) allowed the stock-taking of experiences by the LA's and CSO's on their engagement on some key issues affecting them using the participatory approaches and tools. The capturing moment during the capacity building workshops was the assessment of cooperation between LA's and CSO's, the results showed tremendous improvements from some strained relations to cooperation and collaboration which has resulted in more space being opened up for citizen participation at local government level. Read More>>


 

 

 

Additional information