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Councils demand share of IMF windfall

Local News
URBAN local authorities have resolved to confront central government demanding a share of the US$961 million International Monetary Fund (IMF) windfall.

BY STEPHEN CHADENGA

URBAN local authorities have resolved to confront central government demanding a share of the US$961 million International Monetary Fund (IMF) windfall.

Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe (UCAZ) president Josiah Makombe said local authorities were entitled to the money under the devolution regulations.

Last month, Zimbabwe received US$961 million in Special Drawing Rights from IMF as part of its efforts to provide liquidity for the global economy in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As UCAZ, we will claim a share of the US$961 million as part of the devolution agenda,” Makombe said during a Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development public finance management indaba held in Gweru.

“As you might be aware most urban councils are financially struggling and this has affected service provision to residents. So getting a chunk from the US$961 million will boost operations of local authorities.”

In his presentation at the same meeting, Gweru Urban legislator Brain Dube said there was need for government to make the public aware of how it intended to disburse the funds.

“The money from IMF falls under public resources and there is need for the Finance minister to present a work plan on how the money is to be utilised,” Dube said.

Dube urged citizens to play an active role in making sure the government is held accountable on how the US$961 million is used.

There have been growing fears from different quarters that government might misuse the funds with the main opposition MDC Alliance recently saying the Zanu PF government could use the money to finance its 2023 election campaign.

Follow Stephen on Twitter @jagganox78