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‘Devolution will end corruption in councils’

A socio-political analyst Tafadzwa Chikumbu says the delay in the implementation of devolution of power is perpetuating corruption in local authorities.

Devolution is expected to assist in achieving fair and balanced development through provincial and metropolitan councils, which will be tasked with setting local development priorities.

In an interview with CITE, Chikumbu said devolution will promote transparency and accountability in the management of resources in local authorities

“The only worry that I have is that we are currently in a situation where the local authorities are corrupt and this is not my own making but the auditor general who pointed out some of the irregularities that are happening within local authorities,” he said.

Chikumbu said if implemented the concept of devolution is going to bring sanity in local authorities.

“Our hope is that when devolution happens it is going to clear corruption in local authorities, it is going to bring sanity, it is going to bring issues of transparency and accountability and reporting by local authorities to ordinary citizen of Zimbabwe.

“For me devolution is being delayed to be implemented as its been enshrined in chapter 40 of the constitution which came into effect in 2013, it is now 6years since the constitution came into being,” he said.

Chikumbu added that there was need to ensure that the funds channelled towards devolution will be used for its intended purposes.

“The 2019 national budget spelled out clearly and emphasised on the need that we adhere to the constitution specifically by allocating 5% of the revenue towards devolution, my only worry is that we are currently in a situation where the local authorities are corrupt.

“But now my worry is when the government says it is going to use intellect framework to actualise the implementation of devolution at a time when the broader framework for devolution is not yet in place.

“The constitution is very clear that an act of Parliament has to be enacted to ensure that there is implementation of devolution but up to now that framework is not yet in place and in the absence of that particular act of Parliament on devolution, there is also no general framework that says who is going to do what, when and how…”

“And if there is going to be a framework where the local authorities are going to be capacitated because I know the framework that they were using before is going to be different from the framework where you implementing devolution and there should be overall in terms of either you are bringing new people or you are building capacities or strengthening capacities of the people that are already in the institutions ,” Chikumbu said.

The Finance minister Mthuli Ncube allocated US$310 million in his 2019 National Budget to facilitate the devolution of power to provincial councils.

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