The Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) has described the government’s devolution fund disbursed by Treasury to councils as an avenue for corruption.
In a report titled ‘Public Resources Management Situational’, which was released last week, ZIMCODD, a non-governmental organisation, said there were loopholes in the Act of Parliament on devolution of funds.
According to the Constitution, the government is mandated to disburse 5% of the national purse to local authorities towards service delivery. Reads part of the ZIMCODD report seen by NewZimbabwe.com:
One of the objectives of devolution of governmental powers and responsibilities to the provincial and metropolitan councils and local authorities is to ensure the equitable sharing of local and national resources, according to section 264(2)(e) of the Constitution
This is in line with the principle of equitable and geographical distribution of resources.
In this regard, section 301(1) of the Constitution stipulates that an Act of Parliament must provide for the equitable allocation of capital grants between provincial and metropolitan councils and local authorities; any other allocations to provinces and local authorities, and provision of any conditions on which those allocations may be made.
However, the status quo has created a lacuna that has become an avenue for corruption, embezzlement, misuse and misappropriation of devolution funds as there is no framework for implementing and accounting for devolution funds.
The report adds that Town clerks and other top council officials have been looting devolution funds.
Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) controls the majority of local authorities and stands accused of misappropriating allocated funds.
Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) acting director, Ruben Akili concurred with ZIMCODD findings and added that Local Government Minister, July Moyo, must not dictate how devolution funds are expended.