Patrick Chitumba Midlands Bureau Chief
THE Second Republic has to date disbursed $46 million to local authorities in the provinces as it moves ahead in implementing the devolution agenda.
President Mnangagwa has said that his Government is prioritising devolution and decentralisation in the running of national affairs as a strategy to revitalise the economy and to improve the people’s standards of living.
In her remarks while officially opening a three-day 2019 Capacitating Local Leaders workshop in Gweru yesterday, the Deputy Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Jennifer Mhlanga said the provinces should expect more funds soon.
She said devolution is aimed at socially and economically empowering Zimbabweans from the district, provincial to national level.
“In terms of devolution, its implementation is a top priority for President Mnangagwa and Government in general.
“You will have heard that he chairs the Cabinet committee on Devolution, indicative of his Commitment to deliver on this front in line with the dictates of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
“As we speak, $46 million has been disbursed to all local authorities in terms of Section 301 of the Constitution. We, therefore, expect more funds to be disbursed further in the immediate term,” she said.
Deputy Minister Mhlanga said on the part of the Midlands State University (MSU), they are excited that the university is in the process of establishing a centre for Devolved Governance in support of Government’s devolution agenda.
“It is our expectation that this institute will go a long way towards enhancing policy research and capacity development not only in terms of devolution, but across the whole spectrum of development planning in the country,” she said.
Deputy Minister Mhlanga said the Capacitating Local Leaders programme is more pertinent at this point in time as it is coming in the midst of Government’s thrust towards the attainment of an upper middle-income status by 2030.
Dep Minister Mhlanga said the success that this programme has registered over the years would not have been possible without the sterling contributions of Genderlinks Zimbabwe and the MSU.
She said the provincial and metropolitan councils, which are second tier of Government, will soon be operational in compliance with Chapter 14 of the Constitution and will complete the establishment of the governance system in the country.
MSU Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Kadmiel Wekwete commended ICLD for availing resources for the programme.