Government to align devolution laws

Source: Government to align devolution laws | Herald (Top Stories)

Deputy Minister Clemence Chiduwa

Thupeyo Muleya
Beitbridge Bureau
THE Government is finalising the alignment of enabling legislation to operationalise the Provincial Councils (PCs), which will guide the full roll-out of the devolution agenda to stir development.

Section (2) of the Constitution obliges the central Government to cede more powers to provincial councils for them to set local development priorities.

In 2018 Cabinet approved principles of the Provincial Councils and Administration (Amendment) Bill which spells out the mechanisms of decentralisation and devolution.

Since coming into power, the New Dispensation under the stewardship of President Mnangagwa has been working on devolving power to provincial councils.

The Finance and Economic Development Deputy Minister, Mr Clemence Chiduwa said yesterday that the Government had made a lot of strides in pushing infrastructure and social development under the devolution concept.

He made the remarks in Beitbridge yesterday while unpacking the progress of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme to local stakeholders.

The Deputy Minister said it was important for the Government to fully enlighten the people on its various economic development initiatives to foster inclusive growth.

“Our focus under the TSP, which runs from October 2018 to December 2020 is to introduce the necessary policy, and institutional reforms, to transform Zimbabwe to a private sector-led economy,” he said.

“Among other policies, we have the Devolution initiative, which is a deliberate Local Economic Development Strategy.

“This is a vehicle for development equalisation and income redistribution that also ensures that budgeting is done at the lowest administrative tier in line with local priorities and identified local resources endowments.”

Deputy Minister Chiduwa said the concept also promotes the involvement of community structures in the identification of priority projects to unpack huge investments in social infrastructure.

He said currently they were channelling devolution funds to the communities through the Ministry of Local Government and that things will go a notch higher when the Provincial Councils becomes fully operational.

The official said this year they had allocated $254 million to Matabeleland South province to be shared among the seven administrative districts as part of devolution funds, with $66 million has been disbursed so far.

“When allocating these funds we are guided by the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (Zimvac) reports based on population, size, nature of resources required and this starts from village to provincial level.

“This is an initiative that has seen us making a lot of progress in filling the gaps where there have been disparities and we are looking forward to the finalisation of the enabling laws in parliament, so that the PCs may fully discharge their mandate,” said the Deputy Minister.

He said under devolution, the Government had increased intergovernmental transfers (devolution) resources to support projects at the local authority level.

In 2019, the Deputy Minister said a total of $657 million was disbursed and would be increased to $2.9 billion by the end of this year.

He said the Government was also supporting several regional economic development programs.
“Some of the projects include; Spatial development in Victoria Falls, Agriculture-related spatial development in Bulawayo Kraal (Binga), Kanyemba (Mashonaland Central); Tokwe Mukosi Dam area, Batoka city, and the housing re-development in Mbare (Harare), Sakubva (Mutare), Makokoba (Bulawayo),” said Deputy Minister Chiduwa.