As the devolution agenda gathers momentum, the government has set aside nearly ZWL$3 billion to be disbursed to local authorities across the country next year.
Chapter 14 of the Zimbabwean Constitution, adopted in 2013, provides for the devolution of power from Harare to the country’s 10 provinces.
The same national Charter also stipulates that 5 percent of the national budget should go towards the Provincial Councils.
While the ZANU-PF government under the late president Robert Mugabe ignored that for years in successive national budgets, the President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration began advancing funds to local authorities this year.
“The path taken of devolving powers and resources from central Government to Provincial Councils and Local Authorities recognises the right of communities to manage their own affairs, drive development at the sub national level, and ensures other tiers of Government do not rely on the goodwill of the Central Government for resources,” said Finance and Economic Development Minister, Mthuli Ncube.
He was delivering his 2020 budget speech in Parliament Thursday.
“With the additional resources at their disposal, Provincial Councils and Local Authorities now need to be more responsive to the needs of their constituents as well as provide services to all people in a sustainable and inclusive manner,” he further said.
“With regards to the 2020 financial year, an appropriate allocation equivalent to the 5 percent (ZWL$2.9 billion) statutory requirement for Provincial Councils and Local Authorities will be distributed to the lower tiers of government, in line with the agreed formula, targeting projects that have already been identified by Local Authorities.”