Precious Manomano Herald Reporter
The Gweru City Council and Chirumhanzu Rural District Council are working on improving service delivery and upgrading infrastructure using equipment acquired through devolution funds as they seek to transform the livelihoods of residents.
Upgrading infrastructure is in line with the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1), a national five-year economic management masterplan running from 2021 to 2025.
Under NDS1, the Government is focusing on building, expanding and restoring key enabler infrastructure such as roads and energy.
Infrastructure development is expected to play a key role in delivering Vision 2030 of an empowered upper middle income economy.
Speaking at the second phase of Pfumvudza/Intwasa launch in Chirumhanzu, Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Midlands Province, Larry Mavima, praised Gweru City Council and Chirumanzu RDC for using devolution funds responsibly.
“We have witnessed good work that was done here through devolution funds. In Midlands province, there are two local authorities which are doing well than the other 14, Chirumhanzu Rural District opened Hwata Clinic while Gweru City Council worked on pumps to ensure that communities have access to water.
“We thank you for using the funds wisely,” he said.
Devolution funds are changing the face of communities across the country.
The completion of Hwata Clinic in Ward 6, has cut the distance of up to 12km that villagers were walking to the nearest health facility.
Local authorities are encouraged to use devolution funds for capital expenditure to increase investment and infrastructural development, with a view to achieving NDS1 and Vision 2030.
Devolution funds are filling a social development gap which local authorities could not finance due to low revenue collections and general incompetence especially by MDC-run councils.
The outbreak of Covid-19 disrupted economic activities in most communities and local authorities were not spared, resulting in some councils failing to fund capital projects including construction of clinics.
However, the devolution agenda that was operationalised by the Second Republic has transformed communities, improving social amenities including construction of clinics, classroom blocks and provision of clean water.
Under the Government’s devolution agenda, a slice of the budget for capital development is handed over to local authorities. The reasoning is that the communities have definite priorities for their areas to develop.