Harare (New Ziana) – The government on Thursday set aside ZWL$195.5 billion in next year’s national budget to fund devolution projects such as construction of health facilities and road rehabilitation by local authorities.
Devolution, the brainchild of the Second Republic, allocates funds to provincial governments and allows them to determine how and where to invest the resources, and is a key pillar of the government’s vision to achieve an upper middle-income economy by 2030.
Presenting the 2023 national budget, Finance and Economic Development Minister Prof Mthuli Ncube said ZWL$16.7 billion had so far been disbursed towards devolution in 2022.
ZWL$$45.5 billion had been allocated in 2022 up from $19.5 billion in 2021.
“The 2023 National Budget is ring fencing ZWL$195.5 billion being 5 percent of the anticipated revenue resources towards lower tiers of Government in support towards construction, upgrading and rehabilitation of facilities in health, transport, education, water and sanitation, as well as procurement of plant and equipment by local authorities,” he said.
The year 2023 marks the fourth year since the Government started allocating at least 5 percent of revenue collections towards devolution.
Prof Ncube said devolution funds have impacted positively as evidenced by a greater number of completed and ongoing developmental projects and programmes in various sectors.
“During 2022, resources amounting to ZWL$16.7 billion have so far been disbursed mainly towards acquiring of road construction and firefighting equipment, refuse collection trucks, completion of ongoing infrastructure projects in sectors such as health, education, water and sanitation and roads, among others,” he said.
He however said the overpricing of goods and services by contractors did not spare the devolution programme, thereby affecting its smooth implementation.
Currently, the Government is in the process of developing the requisite policy, regulatory and institutional frameworks necessary to fully operationalise and entrench the implementation of the devolution agenda.