Devolution pays off in Zvimba

Tawanda Musariri

Zvimba Rural District Council (ZRDC) has struck gold under the devolved system of Government as its balance sheet is at its healthiest since independence.

The Harare Post has it on good ground that the council received ZW$11million bounty which is coming in as a handy supplement to traditional revenue streams of the council.

"I can safely say funding is not a problem since we have been ably funded to the tune of ZW$11 million under the devolution fund in 2019. Prior to devolution, we survived through our own localised revenue generation programs, which included taxation and other business ventures," said the ZRDC Administration Officer.

The devolution funds were used to construct ten classroom blocks at four different primary schools. Among the benefitting schools are Madzorera, Oxford, Munhondo, Mpandaguta and Winsor.

So liquid is ZRDC that a supplementary ZW$413 248 budget on the classroom construction project mentioned above was met through council's other revenue sources.

ZRDC also splashed ZW$1 million on a refuse compactor for Banket, a town falling under its ambit.

The devolved system of Government was birthed under the new constitution and implemented by the New Dispensation driven by President Emerson Mnangagwa.

Devolution is designed to drive localised development models funded by local resources. Added to this, local authorities are bankrolled from the national budget under the devolution fund. In the 2020 budget, devolution is funded to the tune of ZW$2.93 billion.

In his 2020 budget speech, Finance and Economic Development Minister Prof Mthuli Ncube said, "The Devolution programme should embrace the rural growth point’s development model anchored by cascading Special Economic Zones to the respective growth points. Growth points will be considered on the basis of comparative advantage of the area. Local authorities have, therefore, a greater role to play in promoting this model through developing the necessary infrastructure and investment mobilisation initiatives. Emphasis will be on ensuring that targeted Growth points have the necessary basic infrastructure of portable water and sanitation. The central Government on its part will provide requisite fiscal incentives."