Nqobile Tshili, Business Reporter
Provinces and local authorities should come up with their own statistics and economic projections that will be used to benchmark resource allocation as Governments implements devolution, an expert has said.
President Mnangagwa’s Government is taking devolution seriously as it is convinced the strategy will fast track development especially of marginalised areas.
Treasury has since allocated $310 million in the 2019 national budget towards devolution.
Economist and National University of Science and Technology (Nust) Institute of Development Studies lecturer, Dr Nqobizitha Dube said at present local authorities and provinces have little information with regards to resources they need for devolution or population in their areas.
He was speaking during a recent Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) workshop in Bulawayo.
Dr Dube said lack of information on resources needed by communities puts them at a disadvantage as they might be under funded during implementation of devolution.
“We cannot function without statistics because it is only through statistics that we are able to explain how much we would have made in terms of fiscal effort.
“This is how we can then make an argument that we contributed this much and as such our allocation should be so much,” said Dr Dube.
He said local authorities should come up with statistics projecting provincial gross domestic product.
Dr Dube also challenged the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency to come up with devolved national statistics, which provinces will use for planning purposes.
ZIMCODD social and economic analyst Mr Tafadwa Chikumbu said in their public management reform indabas, allocation of resources towards implementing devolution has attracted a lot of interest from the public.
He said various communities want to know the criteria, which Government will use in the allocation of resources for devolution purposes.
He said devolution should take into account levels of poverty, disparities among provinces and existing infrastructural gaps.
Mr Chikumbu said as Government was finalising on the legal instruments of devolution, the public should also be actively involved in selecting the model they prefer.