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Mat South devolution funds too little – Youths


Gwanda (Ilanga-New Ziana) – Matabeland South Province youths have expressed concerns over the amount of money allocated to the region under devolution, saying the funds were too little to make meaningful impact.

Youths who attended a meeting organised by the Community Youth Development Trust (CYDT) recently did not mince their words as they dug deeper on issues to do with devolution, and the small piece of financing ‘cake’ given to the province.

The province was allocated $2.7 million for various capital projects that are being undertaken in all the seven districts, namely, Gwanda, Beitbridge, Matobo, Insiza, Umzingwane, Bulilima and Mangwe.

This is less than the amount Matabeland South remits to central government.
Treasury availed a total of $310 million to be shared among the country’s 10 provinces based on several factors, such as poverty levels in rural districts, quality of infrastructure and population.

Participants at the meeting said the devolution funds allocated to the province were little, and will not make much impact.

“According to our own understanding of the term devolution, we produce whatever we have on our land and utilize it for the benefit of our children and then surplus of what we get can then be offered to other provinces as well.

“Our request is that proper procedures be taken and devolution be implemented as it is stated in Chapter 14 of the Constitution talking about devolution. If the bread is ours, why can’t we be the ones sharing a quarter to them instead of them taking all of our bread and giving a quarter to us.

“If we speak of devolution, it should not just be in name just to fascinate us but it must be implemented (with) transparency, if we are not stripped (of) our powers therefore we cannot have powers controlled (in)Harare and speak of devolution,” Siduduzile Masilela, one of the participants, said.

Another, Reason Dube, said: “We want to know the difference between devolution funds and the grants that were being offered before. We must receive both funds without fail and this will see us getting on another level in (the) near future. We want our leaders to be given accountability and opportunities for improved service delivery.”

Another Gwanda resident who refused to be names said: “I’m not sure and can’t say whether the devolution fund is the same money that we have been receiving coming in a new name, what I know is that funds currently received are known as devolution funds. We are engaging officers and MPS for us to understand the matter.”

Ilanga-New Ziana

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