RDCs craft pro de­vo­lu­tion pol­icy

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Nqo­bile Tshili

RU­RAL District Coun­cils are craft­ing a five-year pol­icy doc­u­ment which will com­ple­ment Gov­ern­ment’s de­vo­lu­tion strat­egy meant to pro­mote devel­op­ment at grass­roots level.

Gov­ern­ment is in the process of im­ple­ment­ing de­vo­lu­tion of power to prov­inces and has al­lo­cated $310 mil­lion to fund the pro­gramme.

RDC lead­ers yes­ter­day met in Bu­l­awayo to map the way for­ward and elect a new ex­ec­u­tive for their um­brella body, the As­so­ci­a­tion of Ru­ral District Coun­cils of Zim­babwe (ARDCZ).

In an in­ter­view on the side­lines of the meet­ing, ARDCZ act­ing sec­re­tary gen­eral Ms Net­sai Makoni said it was im­por­tant for lo­cal au­thor­i­ties to sing from the same hymn book with Gov­ern­ment on devel­op­ment mat­ters.

She said the poli­cies they were com­ing up with should com­ple­ment Gov­ern­ment’s 2030 vi­sion of mak­ing Zim­babwe an up­per mid­dle in­come econ­omy.

“We are look­ing at ca­pac­i­tat­ing lo­cal au­thor­i­ties in terms lo­cal eco­nomic devel­op­ment and pro­mot­ing ru­ral in­vest­ment. Ac­cord­ing to the Con­sti­tu­tion, lo­cal au­thor­i­ties have a man­date to take care of the wel­fare of peo­ple un­der their ju­ris­dic­tion,” she said.

Ms Makoni said coun­cils should there­fore aug­ment Gov­ern­ment ef­forts to at­tain an up­per mid­ddle in­come econ­omy by 2030.

She said the as­so­ci­a­tion will be con­duct­ing re­search on how lo­cal au­thor­i­ties can ben­e­fit from re­sources in their re­spec­tive ar­eas as de­vo­lu­tion is rolled out.

Ms Makoni said ARDCZ was in the process of fi­nal­is­ing its five-year plan which runs from next year to 2023.

She said RDCs want to im­prove on is­sues such as rev­enue col­lec­tion and would soon em­bark on aware­ness cam­paigns to ed­u­cate the peo­ple un­der their ju­ris­dic­tion on the im­por­tance of pay­ing their bills.

Ms Makoni said it was im­por­tant for coun­cils to mar­ket them­selves in or­der to at­tract in­vestors to their ar­eas and ex­pand their rev­enue base. — @nqot­shili.

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