Source: Devolution bears fruit in Midlands | The Sunday News 3 NOVEMBER 2019
Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent
LOCAL authorities in Midlands Province have made significant progress since they started receiving devolution funds as they have implemented a number of people-centred projects that are focused on transforming people’s standards of living, an official has said.
In an interview, Midlands Provincial Development Co-ordinator Mr Abiot Maronge said the province has recorded a lot of progress in terms of infrastructure development, focusing on roads, health care system, education and water provision among other major projects being implemented by local authorities. The province has so far received $23 million out of the allocated $41,6 million.
“The major interventions revolve around disbursement of devolution funds. So far, we have received roughly $23 million which was disbursed through both urban and rural local authorities. To date, a lot of work has been done in terms of implementing identified projects. And I should say we are impressed by most of the proposed projects that the councils are working on as they are fulfilling the desires of the Government,” he said.
Mr Maronge said most urban and rural authorities have been using the devolution funds to address long term challenges.
“If you go to Gweru, Zvishavane, Shurugwi and Redcliff, they have identified water related projects as they have been facing problems in that area. We are happy with the results so far. This is exactly what the Government had in mind when they came up with the devolution idea,” he said.
Mr Maronge said some councils like Gokwe Town and Mberengwa also purchased road making equipment.
“Mberengwa and Gokwe Town Council purchased road making equipment that will see the roads being rehabilitated,” he said.
Kwekwe, Zibagwe RDC and Gokwe RDC also focused on infrastructure development where clinics, classroom blocks and staff cottages were constructed.
“As for other local authorities, they also focused on infrastructure development like clinics, boreholes drilling, classroom blocks construction, and building of staff cottages at clinics and schools. This also means that there is proper accommodation and infrastructure across the province. So, you find that across the province, we have recorded significant progress and this is exactly what the Government is pushing for. We will continue ensuring that our local authorities are working on their projects and monitoring progress so that we improve people’s livelihoods,” he said.
Mr Maronge, however, said the recently introduced procurement framework Procurement Regulatory Act of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) has seen some local authorities failing to utilise their funds.
“We have Tongogara RDC and Gokwe South RDC that have failed to utilise their development fund due to the recently introduced procurement framework which they are yet to acquaint themselves with. We will continue monitoring the local authorities and ensure that they get to use their funds,” said Mr Maronge.
President Mnangagwa is on record saying the Government prioritises devolution and decentralisation in the running of national affairs as a strategy to revitalise the economy and improve the standards of living.
Newer PostAir Zim starts billing in forex