Some local authorities are not receiving their devolution funds early and the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works and National Housing wants prompt disbursements.
Kwekwe City Council officials have told acting chairperson of the committee, Cde Bramwell Bushu, that they were yet to receive their devolution allocation for this year although they believe that most other authorities in Midlands have received theirs.
In an interview soon after touring Kwekwe City devolution projects, Cde Bushu expressed concern over the delays in the disbursements of funds.
“The issue of devolution funds is of paramount importance given the development they are bringing to the economy via local authorities. It is therefore worrying that you find that some local authorities are receiving their allocations in October, November or December giving them no time to implement their projects. We are therefore going to pursue the matter via relevant routes to ensure that they are disbursed timeously,” he said.
Cde Bushu said early disbursement gives councils proper time for implementing projects and making them practicable, visible and have the intended impact on society.
As most councils were facing revenue collection challenges, the devolution funds go a long in assisting local authorities to deliver service.
“We noticed that most local authorities have revenue collection and application of revenue challenges. Covid-19 reduced a lot of economic activities at the same time the council needed to provide services. That is the biggest challenge they are faced with since the economy has not been performing well,” said Cde Bushu.
The committee hailed projects by Kwekwe that include conversion of a bar into a hospital, construction of markets and waste management saying other cities have a lot to learn from Kwekwe.
“Their waste management is commendable, especially that of liquid waste. Most cities do not even have a plan on the management of liquid waste. The way Kwekwe manages waste is commendable. In fact, it is one of the cleanest cities,” he said.
The committee has been touring local authorities across the country focusing on assessing waste management, challenges faced by local authorities and the use of devolution funds.