By Simbarashe Sithole
A TOTAL of $26 million has been allocated for devolution programmes in Mashonaland Central this year, Local Government minister July Moyo has said.
Addressing stakeholders at a devolution conference in Bindura on Wednesday, Moyo said the programmes should target the most marginalised areas in the province.
“The money for the devolution of Mashonaland Central is now available. We expect the Minister of Mashonaland Central Monica Mavhunga to work with the provincial council in prioritisng the most marginalised areas,” Moyo said.
He said $1 892 095 was allocated to Bindura town, $1 949 163 to Mvurwi, while Pfura would get $3 122 611.
Muzarabani will get $2 972 033, Mount Darwin $2 963 202, Bindura rural $2 521 666 and Shamva $2 727 034. Mbire was set to receive $2 740 483, Guruve $2 890 822 and Rushinga $2720 812.
Moyo urged people from marginalised areas to advocate for the upliftment of their communities.
“People should learn to develop their own communities; do not expect people from Harare to come and develop your areas because with devolution we are saying power has been decongested and everything should be close to you,” he said.
“We will write to local authorities and provincial administrators so that they give us a breakdown of how they want to use the money.”
The Local Government minister said the province can only get 5% of the national budget under devolution. Local authorities, however, have the right to raise their own funds to strengthen their governance systems.
“The province should raise its own funds and both public and private sectors should be able to give a blueprint to the Minister of State which will determine how the province is progressing. All companies should pay tax, that is how you can survive,” Moyo said.
“The local authorities are empowered by the Constitution to approach the Constitutional Court if they feel their rights are being violated.”
Mashonaland Central provincial chiefs council vice-chair, Chief Matsiwo implored the Provincial Affairs minister to jealously guard the available money and shun corruption.
“Previously, the province was destroyed by people in higher offices through corruption, that should stop in the second republic,” the chief said.
He also implored the government to build courtrooms for traditional chiefs.