'Harare assets register in shambles'

HARARE - Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni has said the city’s assets value is unknown and urgently needs assessment by independent valuers.

He said while the 2016 audited reports were signed off, making the Harare City Council (HCC) compliant with its audit obligations, “there are still some outstanding matters which need thorough consideration”, particularly the local authority’s assets value.

“Evaluations continue to be an issue that dogs councils. Our assets are grossly undervalued and we now need to emphasise the need for professional valuation that must now come to the fore so that we really know what the city is worth,” Manyenyeni said.

He added that “a lot of things that were in the previous audits were covered There are issues of adverse opinion which are high level, then adverse positions require working on and lastly those matters of information”.

According to a report presented to councillors by audit manager Joseph Issa in 2016, HCC’s assets module was not working and there were weak controls of the assets.

He said that situation made it difficult for the city to determine whether some assets had been disposed or not.

Issa noted that there was no audit trial between the BIQ asset register, assets inventory sheets and physical assets.

“There is a lack of completeness of assets recorded in the BIQ asset register.

“Third party properties are being recognised as council assets while buildings are not recorded in the BIQ assets register.

“Disposed assets are also still appearing in the register,” Issa said.

He also noted the value of some assets was not recorded into the system, making it difficult to ascertain how much the assets were bought for and their value over time.

HCC’s idea to inspect its asset inventory system comes after it started disposing of properties in a bid to raise funds for service delivery.

Through the sale of land and properties the city looked to realise more than $8 million which has been earmarked for salaries and service requirements.

Council has around 9 000 properties in Mbare, Mabvuku, Highfield, Tafara, Kambuzuma, Dzivaresekwa, Glen Norah, Belvedere, Milton Park and Borrowdale which are being disposed of at discounted prices ranging from 20 to 50 percent.

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