Debra Matabvu – Sunday Mail Reporter

GOVERNMENT will in the next five years focus on six deliverables to transform infrastructure development and service delivery as part of implementing the devolution programme, which is key to achieving Vision 2030.

The key pillars  electricity, education, water and sanitation, transport, health and public amenities will be implemented by 92 councils using devolution funds from central Government.

Treasury this year allocated $2,9 billion for devolution but some of the funds are yet to be disbursed due to challenges related to the pandemic.

In an interview with The Sunday Mail, Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo said Government will continue to increase funding for devolution to meet the six deliverables.

“From the amount that was allocated for devolution, only about 10 percent will go towards administration. The rest should go to construction and infrastructure projects that we have prioritised under these six sectors. When the budget increases next year, I can assure you that the local authorities will have up to $15 or $20 billion for devolution in the coming years.”

Minister Moyo said he has directed all local authorities to put more money towards construction projects.

“It is now a requirement that when I approve budgets, a certain amount is reserved for construction. I have told every local authority that we cannot approve a budget for consumption. We cannot have an upper middle income country where people have dilapidated water and sewage systems. We have hired consultants to look at every local authority’s infrastructure systems.”

An update on devolution projects availed by the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works illustrates the progress of various developmental projects in all 10 provinces.

In Bulawayo, Government has completed the rehabilitation of the Ncema and Ferhil pump stations, construction of Cowdray Park road and classroom blocks at Vulindlela Primary.

In Mashonaland West, Chinhoyi completed the fitting of water pipes and installation of solar lights while Chirundu acquired garbage delivery trucks.

Mhondoro-Ngezi has completed refurbishing it’s water reticulation and supply systems with Zvimba Rural District Council completing the construction of five primary schools.

In Chipinge, Manicaland province, projects such as resurfacing of Gaza road, drilling of boreholes and installation of solar lights have all been completed.

Rusape Town Council allocated its share of devolution funds towards the acquisition of an ambulance and ambulance equipment as well as chemical dosing pumps for the town’s water works while Chimanimani RDC completed the refurbishment of Mhakwe clinic.

In Masvingo province, Chivi RDC completed the Chombwe water line, Shindi water reticulation and drilling of boreholes in nine wards.

Midlands province completed various clinics in Gokwe and Chimbindi.

In Harare, devolution funds were invested into the city’s ongoing water and sewer rehabilitation.

Insiza Rural District in Matabeleland South has completed repairs for Ngungazi dam, Mahole piped system and refurbishment of Singwango primary school while Beitbridge Rural Council has completed Chabili and Zezani clinics’ construction.

In Matabeland North, Binga Centre water reticulation and procurement of clinic equipment for Chipale is complete.

Devolution seeks to achieve fair and balanced development countrywide in line with Section (2) of the country’s Constitution under which central Government should allow provincial councils to set local development priorities.

Some African countries that have embraced devolution include Uganda, Nigeria and Kenya. In South Africa the devolved system of governance has seen entities self-funding 85 percent of their costs.