Nduduzo Tshuma, Political Editor
GOVERNMENT has increased the budgetary allocation towards devolution to ensure an increase in service delivery across the country, President Mnangagwa said yesterday.
Speaking as he commissioned 76 Zupco buses in Bulawayo, President Mnangagwa called on local authorities to take advantage of the development to identify and prioritise their respective developmental needs.
“My Government remains committed to the full implementation of devolution. My Minister of Finance who is here, Honourable Mthuli Ncube, is increasing budgetary allocation towards devolution which means there will be more funding made available to provinces, rural district councils and urban councils in order to assist you to increase service delivery,” he said.
“Therefore, communities, urban and rural must take full advantage of this development and prioritise your various development needs, you must be able at the local community level to identify your respective community needs and prioritise them, we will support you with funding.”
President Mnangagwa called for cohesion between local authorities and the Government.
“I urge local authorities to always work with Government in unity for the good of our nation and all our people. We are stronger when we are united.”
The President however, warned that officials who engage in corrupt activities would face the full wrath of the law.
“However, I warn those running rural district councils and urban councils to shun corruption. If you shun corruption, I will shun removing you. Otherwise those who engage in corruption, with me we part ways,” he said.
The Government allocated the funds to be shared among the 10 provinces based on a number of factors such as poverty levels in all rural districts, quality of infrastructure and size of population.
Last month, Prof Ncube said the Government would disburse the remaining $417 million from this year’s devolution allocation of $703 million to councils within two months.
In a speech read on his behalf by Chief Director Communications and Advocacy Mr Clive Mphambela at the first edition of the rural district councillors’ meeting in Harare on Thursday, Prof
Ncube said it was up to the councils to use the money this year or later.
“The budget allocation for this programme (devolution) in this year’s Budget including the reviewed Budget, is $703 million and the total that has been disbursed so far is $286 million,” he said.
“I need to mention that the full $703 million will be disbursed before the end of the year, so this money will be available for use by local authorities on an ongoing basis, but it will all be released this year. Whether you are going to use it this year or next year it’s up to you.”