Source: Masvingo gets $33 million for devolution programmes | The Herald February 21, 2019
Walter Mswazie Masvingo Correspondent
MASVINGO has received the US$33 million that was allocated in the 2019 National Budget for its devolution programmes amid indications that it wants to achieve Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of at least US$ 8 billion by the year 2023.
Addressing stakeholders during the inaugural Masvingo devolution conference at a local hotel on Monday, Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister July Moyo said the new dispensation had seen it fit to follow the provisions of the 2013 constitution which provided for the decentralisation of the country’s wealth in each
province with the community actively participating in the development matrix.
“The money for devolution amounting to US$33 million for Masvingo province is now available. We expect the Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs Ezra Chadzamira to work with the elected provincial councillors to see how the money will be used,” said Minister Moyo.
“Secondly the money I said will be released to assist local authorities in addressing marginalisation is now available.
“Bikita will get $3,2 million, Chiredzi $5,6 million, Chivi $3 million, Gutu $3,8 million, Masvingo RDC $4,6 million, Mwenezi RDC $3,9 million, Zaka RDC $3,3 million, Masvingo City $893 000 and Chiredzi Town Council $394 000.
“We will write to local authorities and provincial administrator so that they give use breakdown on how they want to use the money.
“Remember you will get 5 percent which will only be increased as and when the national budget increases,” he said.
He said in devolution local authorities had the right to raise their own funds and it was meant to strengthen their governance systems.
“Local authorities operations are informed by constitutional provisions and they can approach the courts if such operations are violated.
“It is ultra-vies to interfere with the local authority’s operations, especially on raising funds although the government would give guidance given that we are a unitary state.
“The local authorities are empowered by the constitution to approach the Constitutional Court if they feel their rights are violated,” he said.
He said devolution gives these local authorities an opportunity to ascertain how much they can contribute to the national GDP.
Masvingo province, he said, should account for injections from the central government, as part of its income and be able to create its own.
“The province should be able to achieve at least $3500 per capita, as envisaged by President Mnangagwa.”
Speaking earlier Minister Chadzamira said Masvingo had potential to achieve a GDP of $8 billion by 2023 because it was endowed with a lot of resources.
“Masvingo is endowed with both human and economic resources and because of that we have the pedigree to achieve a provincial GDP of $8 billion by 2023.
“We have mining, agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, wildlife and service sectors which can help us achieve per capita of $3500,” said Minister Chadzamira.
He reiterated that Masvingo did not take part in the recent shutdown protests which occurred in other centres and claimed the life of a policeman, saw the destruction of property, looting of shops and barricading of roads.
“We are a peaceful province as shown by not taking part in the violent protests last month, which saw the destruction of property and killing of a policeman.
“This demonstrates that we are a safe destination for investment. I therefore call upon all citizens in this province to embrace love instead of hate.
“Let us do away with petty political differences, as I also urge our media to be supportive in its reportage.”
The meeting was attended by Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira, Mines and Mining development Minister Winston Chitando, among others.