Mthuli urged to release devolution funds to local authorities

Mthuli Ncube

PARLIAMENTARY Portfolio Committee on Local Government chairperson Miriam Chikukwa (Zanu PF) yesterday urged Finance minister Mthuli Ncube to timeously release devolution funds to local authorities.

Chikukwa made the call in Parliament saying the late disbursements affected planning and utilisation of the funds in the face of inflation.

“The Finance and Economic Development ministry should efficiently and timeously disburse funds to local authorities for use within the budget year,” the Zanu PF legislator said.

“The lack of a devolution legislative framework has resulted in widespread bottlenecks in the operationalisation of devolution and the subsequent utilisation of the devolution funds.

“Several councils bemoaned the lengthy procurement process which has negatively impacted the pricing of goods and services. In most cases, the local authorities highlighted that after receiving invoices from the suppliers, they are sent to the Finance and Economic Development ministry which has to approve the purchase and then disburse the funds to the local authorities for onward payment to the suppliers.”

Government has a budget for devolution in line with section 301 of the Constitution.

Over the past three years, government has disbursed $2,2 billion to local councils as devolution funds.

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