It is clear that a great deal is being done by the Central Diocese of Zimbabwe to support communities in both education and health, and to strengthen the church’s finances during ongoing difficult circumstances in the country. It is emerging that the Budget Support System is working well and has substantially strengthened the relationship between the two sides of the Link. A key aspect, however, is the financial management of the system and the assurance needed by all parties that funds are being looked after, that the system is efficient and that funds are going where they should be going.
In any system, there has to be an element of trust, but trust needs to be secured through ensuring that adequate safeguards and procedures are in place. There are two sides to the management of finances in the Link – one in England and the other in Zimbabwe. This section looks at both sides, beginning with the UK side of the Link. All the activities of the Link, including the financial management, is under the authority of the two Bishops of the Central Zimbabwe Diocese and the Croydon Episcopal Area of the Diocese of Southwark.
Management of Link funds in the UK:
The management of the funds on the UK side is in terms of an agreed Accounting Policy which is administered by the Link Treasurer. The function is relatively simple – there are a limited number of transactions each year, which comprise of:
- Receiving funds from different sources,
- The safekeeping of these funds, and
- The transferring of funds to Zimbabwe.
(There are also limited expenses which are met from the UK funds including communication costs and the cost of the part-time Administrator.)
The accounts are periodically independently reviewed to verify their accuracy and that they have been properly managed. All funds are passed to the Link through the Croydon Episcopal Office.
Funds are of two basic types –
- General funds which go towards the Budget Support System, and
- ‘Earmarked’ funds which go through the same channels but are targeted in Zimbabwe towards the purpose for which they were given – usually for specific activities or parishes in Zimbabwe.
Based on long experience and with the support both Bishops, no moneys should flow between the two diocese or between Link parishes other than through the established procedures.
Management of Link funds in Zimbabwe
On the Zimbabwe side of the link, all funds are received through international bank transfers into the account of the Central Zimbabwe Diocese. Funds which are designated for Budget Support are allocated towards project expenditure in the Diocese at the discretion of the Diocese under the authority of the Bishop. Funds which are earmarked for specific purposes or parishes are forwarded by the Diocese accordingly.
The funds from the Link are managed and accounted for through the same financial management and accounting systems as the Diocese applies to all its finances. All payments are subject to double signatory requirements and the Diocesan accounts are audited annually.