GOVERNMENT has been accused of misdirecting the funds it extends to local authorities, resulting in the financial resources funding non-priority areas.
The government-allocated funds usually come with prescribed functions, which is making it impossible, for instance, for the Bulawayo City Council to channel adequate resources to service delivery, Bulawayo councillors said.
The councillors made the remarks during a briefing organised by Public Policy and Research Institute of Zimbabwe (PPRIZ) in Bulawayo on the post-electoral political and economic landscape in Zimbabwe: Implications on service delivery recently.
Ward 3 councillor Mxolisi Mahlangu told the participants that the attachments affected such services as water supply.
“The money that comes from the central government comes attached to certain roles, for example, the ambulances from Belarus. In Bulawayo we did not have a crisis because we had some that were donated from the United Kingdom by the generous Zimbabweans who once worked for the council. So, to us they were not a priority,” Mahlangu said.
“We would have loved to get this money to go and double trench the connection of the pipeline from Insiza to Inyankuni Dam which is 11,5 kilometres so that we get more water.”
He said the project could not be launched due to lack of funding.
“The double pipeline is a panacea to our water challenges because the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project is far from being complete and besides that there is still a lot of money needed to complete that. The pumping of water, because of the gradient to Bulawayo from MZWP, will be very expensive,” he said.
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Mahlangu said the Insiza pipeline to Inyankuni was on a downward gradient and there would be no need for pumping because water would flow.
He, however, said councillors were working flat out to deliver services to the residents despite the challenges including the recalls which were causing uncertainty.
Last month, the government commissioned four new fire tenders procured from Belarus through the Devolution Funds to add to the fleet the city has in its firefighting department.
The fire tenders were recently commissioned by the minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Bulawayo Judith Ncube.