Devolution cake for Manicaland
MANICALAND has so far used 86 percent of the $124 894 886 devolution funds allocated to the province, The Manica Post has established.
This translates to $107 257 657, with most local authorities having acquitted themselves well in the manner they have been utilising the funds.
Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba said some local authorities were using the money to build schools and clinics.
Others have procured capital equipment to enhance service delivery, while some have furnished and equipped schools and clinics in their jurisdictions.
“Regular system checks are being conducted in local authorities to enhance corporate and local governance. Recent system checks were done at Rusape Town Council, Chipinge Town Council and Buhera Rural District Council.
“Devolution projects are being closely monitored and monthly reports are being submitted to the Office of the President and Cabinet.
“The province has since submitted high impact projects to be incorporated in the
National Development Strategy (NDS) 1 to be rolled out from 2021 to 2025,” said Dr Gwaradzimba.
Chipinge and Makoni Rural District Councils are among the major beneficiaries of the devolution funds. In 2019, Chipinge RDC received $14, 8 million; while in 2020, the local authority received $53 million from the allocated $57 million. Chipinge RDC chief executive officer, Mr Blessing Mamvosha, said the council also used $825 796 from its own coffers to augment money allocated by Government for devolution projects.
“For 2020, we received $53 million. Project
allocations covered all our wards and were based on priority. We have a projects selection committee and we also chipped in with our own resources to help complete some of the projects.
“Our projects include clinics rehabilitation, purchasing of earthmoving vehicles, road maintenance, reconstruction of classroom blocks and buying of school furniture. These projects are at various stages of completion.
“On average, we are above 80 percent completion rate,” said Mr Mamvosha.
The two Makoni councils, Makoni RDC and Rusape Town Council, have so far received at least $17 million.
Makoni RDC, which superintends over 70 000 households, got the largest chunk of $13 million, while Rusape Town Council got $4 150 000.
Makoni is the largest district in the province, with 49 wards, including Rusape, and more than 350 000 inhabitants.
Makoni RDC chief executive officer, Dr Edward Pise said: “We received $13 million and used it to buy refuse compactors for Nyazura and Headlands as well as a tipper truck for our roads department.
“We used part of the money to construct Nzvimbe Clinic in a record nine months and installed a solar system.
“We have also revamped the sewer reticulation system for Nyazura and bought computers and survey equipment for the council,” said Dr Pise, adding that priority is on rehabilitation of damaged schools and roads.
He also said work is in progress at two clinics — one in Makoni North and another in Headlands — where people are travelling for about 25km to access health services.
“In addition, about 17 of our primary and secondary schools were severely affected by hailstorm last year.
“Each school was attended to — the roofs were repaired, thereby creating an conducive learning environment for the students,” said Dr Pise.
On the other hand, the $4 157 000 allocated to Rusape Town Council this year was chanelled towards Magamba Extension’s water reticulation.
Magamba Extension has about 1 150 houses and these had gone for 10 years without running water.
Rusape Town Council chairman, Councillor Lyton Sithole said: “All the houses in Magamba Extension can now access water. Council had been failing to raise the required funding for the project but we have now connected the residents through the devolution funds.”
In Mutasa, the RDC received $11,9 million. The council’s chief executive officer, Mr George Bandure, said equipment capitalisation will see their service delivery improving.
“Devolution funds enabled us to procure a tipper truck which has since been delivered.
“We are currently using it for spot gravelling works.
“This has enabled council to save as most of the council’s funds were being spent on equipment hire.
“We also procured a Backhoe loader, which has since been delivered.
“We are also constructing a Small to Medium Enterprises industrial hub in Hauna, Honde Valley.
“The idea was mooted after discovering that a large number of people, especially the youths, are in the SME sector. We are therefore constructing about 20 sheds for the young entrepreneurs.
“So far we managed to mobilise some resources for the commencement of works, but progress is being delayed due to unavailability of common bricks within the local community,” said Mr Bandure.
However, while remarkable progress has been made on social amenities, the provincial leadership is concerned with the state of major roads like the Murambinda-Birchenough Bridge Road, which has taken many years to complete.
“While the Murambinda-Birchenough Bridge Road has a national status, progress on the ground is not visible and we are concerned. We recommend that the responsible Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development sub-contract reputable contractors to execute the work with speed and efficiency.
“The Mutare-Nyanga Road also require urgent attention as it is now a death trap to tourists visiting Nyanga. Our roads in Manicaland, due to the terrain, are difficult to navigate and therefore they need to be maintained,” said Dr Gwaradzimba.