Part of consolidated revenue to fund devolution Dr Misheck Sibanda

Ishemunyoro Chingwere Business Reporter
THE Government has said is committed to distribute a chunk of money from the consolidated national revenue pool towards funding national devolution and decentralisation efforts.

This comes as the Government has noted that metropolitan and local authorities will not be able to fully mobilise the requisite resources to adequately sustain the pace at which it wants to see economic development taking place in provinces.

Zimbabwe, as espoused by President Mnangagwa, is pursuing upper middle income economy status by 2030.

The attainment of the vision will be preceded by an accelerated rapid economic growth that is expected to transcend in all corners of the country.

The President has already highlighted that mining and agriculture will form the backbone of this growth supported by other sectors such as tourism and manufacturing.

It is on the back of this plan that the Government, through the Devolution and Decentralisation Policy released recently, has made commitment to kick-start development through the disbursement of seed capital from the fiscus.

“As the implementation of the country’s devolution takes root, Provincial and Metropolitan Councils and Local Authorities will not have sufficient financial capacities to provide services devolved by Government to them,” the Government notes in the policy document.

“Treasury disbursements to metropolitan and provincial councils and local authorities will complement own mobilised resources to fund service delivery across various communities.

“Central Government official transfers including grants for supplementary funding of devolved functions would be through local authorities’ budgets.

“Initially, Treasury will target distributing 5 percent of fiscal revenues to sub-national tiers of Government towards funding local authorities’ budgets.”

In his foreword to the policy, President Mnangagwa notes that devolution and decentralisation is one of the major anchors of national unity, which encompasses inclusive development. The President says the major objective of the policy is to promote sustainable representative, accountable, participatory, inclusive governance and socio-economic development.

With the President having underscored this importance, the policy also highlights that successful implementation of the policy requires that powers and functions be devolved to competent provincial/metropolitan councils and local authorities.

Devolution is an integral part of democracy which brings decision making to the very place where implementation of plans, policies, programmes and projects majorly takes place.

To allow for the devolution of such power to take place in a collaborative and structured manner, the decentralisation and devolution policy had to be put in place.

This policy facilitates the setting up of the context of the standards, regulatory provisions and the monitoring framework within which the devolution process is to be unpacked.

“The Decentralisation and Devolution Policy acknowledges that with increased mandates, there will be need for greater capacitation of the lower tiers of Government. It therefore provides for the requisite capacity building to take place in order to ensure that the whole Government Machinery from the centre to the lower levels, is geared to effectively and efficiently provide services to the citizens of this great nation,” said Chief Secretary to the President Dr Misheck Sibanda.

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