Local authorities should use devolution funds for capital expenditure aimed at increasing investment and infrastructural development as part of achieving the National Development Strategy 1 and Vision 2030, a Cabinet Minister has said.
Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo said devolution funds were subject to audit and there was no need for fear of possible abuse.
Minister Moyo said this in the National Assembly last week while responding to questions from backbenchers.
Norton MP Mr Temba Mliswa had asked how the devolution funds were being disbursed when there were no provincial councils and what measures were there to evaluate the money.
“The funds are disbursed in terms of the Finance Act and all Honourable Members here know that in the Blue Book that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development puts before this august House, he will have indicated allocations to every provincial council and local authority in this country — ninety-two of them.
“Each one of them has been allocated a certain amount of money out of the fiscus and every provincial council has been allocated the same.
“So, to follow up means we must supervise and that is why the President has appointed Ministers of Provincial Affairs and Devolution who will monitor, supervise and make sure that this money is well spent.
“Above that, these are auditable funds. They follow the audit reports that will come to this august House and you will have an opportunity to question and see how those funds have been used by the local authorities and provincial councils concerned,” said Minister Moyo.
“We are, however, quite happy that those who have received these funds can only use them as capital expenditure in order to increase investments in all the rural and urban areas of Zimbabwe.
“They are only using those funds for investment and that investment is meant for a lot of people that they can access better schools, clinics, water and sewerage and in some cases, they are doing roads that are not taken over by either DDF or the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development. So that is what we follow. Those are the guidelines we have given to the local authorities and to those who are spending this money.”
He said the Provincial Councils and Administrative Amendment Bill that was gazetted recently sought to give effect to the operations of provincial council and have the enabling law aligned with the Constitution.