ZWL$19,5 billion set aside for devolution

The government has set aside ZWL$19 billion to go towards devolution projects across the country’s provinces next year, up from ZWL$2, 9 billion which had been budgeted for 2020.

The devolution funds are managed by local authorities in their areas of jurisdiction.

In 2020, total devolution allocation is ZWL$2.93 billion, of whichZWL$703.8 million was disbursed by 30 September 2020. 

“These resources supported various impactful projects being undertaken at the community level, and these are in the areas of health, education, water and sanitation, roads, among others,” said Finance and Economic Development Minister, Mthuli Ncube, while unveiling his 2021 national budget in Parliament Thursday.

“In 2021, an allocation of ZWL$19.5 billion is being proposed, consistent with the Constitution to be allocated to Provincial Councils and Local Authorities and respective authorities are urged to prioritise water and sanitation, health services, education and road infrastructure, in view of challenges in these areas.”

He said for efficient management of resources, accountability and transparency, as well as effective implementation of projects, the government was building capacities of the local authorities including strengthening of financial and project management systems. “Furthermore, the government is finalising the establishment of appropriate structures to ensure that devolution resources are efficiently utilised with accountability,” said Ncube.

Ncube however said the devolution policy, recognising the right of communities to manage their own affairs and further their own development, with the various tiers of government complementing each other in providing efficient and effective service delivery to the citizenry, was progressing well.

“A case in point is the impact of devolution funds in Makonde District, which in 2020 received more than ZWL$4,8 million. The district has made great strides in the delivery of water, health and education through use of devolution funds. In addition, at least seven wards in the district now have solar-powered boreholes and tanks, while a school is under construction in Ward 18,” he said.

“For roads rehabilitation, the district acquired a motorised grader to improve its road service network system. Targeted for the year 2021 are more than 20 health institutions in the rural parts of the district and increase the clinics to shorten distance being travelled by people to access health facilities.”

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