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Residents petition Parly over devolution funds abuse

by Staff reporter
13 Aug 2022 at 07:25hrs | Views
THE Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) has petitioned Parliament to protest how the Local Government ministry is dictating how devolution funds should be utilised by local authorities.

The petition comes as the ministry has been reported to be setting development priorities for local communities, including what equipment and where to purchase it using devolution funds.

But the Harare residents association said the directives were contrary to the principles of devolution as provided for in Chapter 14 of the Constitution.

CHRA regional advocacy officer Ruben Akili cited the case where the ministry is pressing the City of Harare to use its devolution funds to pay for the controversial Pomona waste management project.

"The CHRA condemns the continued violation of the principles of devolution and calls on the Minister of Local Government, July Moyo to respect the Constitution," Akili wrote in the petition dated August 11.

"Therefore, Harare resident's plea and prayer is for Parliament to Summon the Minister of Local Government to appear before Parliament and explain the constitutionality of the Ministry's actions of imposing development priorities on the use of "devolution funds" to the (City of Harare) local authority and the residents of Harare, and the rationale behind directing local authorities to circumvent tender processes and procedures provided by the

"The Minister of Local Government must share the revenue allocation formula being employed to allocate and disburse ‘devolution funds' to local authorities, and update on ‘devolution funds' disbursed to the City of Harare."

According to the Constitution, government is mandated to disburse 5% of the national purse to local authorities for improving service delivery.

Recently, Moyo was in the eye of a storm after he directed local authorities to set aside funds under devolution to pay for fire tenders the ministry was buying from Belarus.

There is no evidence that the local authorities ever asked for the fire tenders.

"Summon the minister (Moyo) to bring Bills that will guide devolution implementation as provided by the constitution so that Parliament behind can enact enabling legislation (Acts of Parliament) which guides the allocation of "devolution funds" and devolution implementation," Akili added.

Source - NewsDay Zimbabwe