The disbursement and use of devolution funds going on across the country is unconstitutional as it goes against the laid down stipulations of how that money is supposed to be used experts have revealed.
Government has been releasing devolution funds which have already been used with some cities like Masvingo going on to acquire graders and renovating Council schools.
Under the government’s devolution agenda it has promised to release ZWL310million to the 10 provinces, an amount set aside by Treasury, with Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube saying the amount will be increased in the next cycle.
According to the authorities the allocation of the funds to be shared among the 10 provinces is based on a number of factors such as poverty levels in all rural districts, quality of infrastructure and size of population.
The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) has however revealed that this is unconstitutional as the structures that are supposed to oversee this are not yet in place.
An official with the organisation confirmed this saying, “its unconstitutional. We have a pending case at the High Court seeking an order to compel Ministry of Local Government and Parliament to develop a legislative Act, distribution framework for the funds and to operationalize the structures.
“The Constitution is clear on the need for a legislative Act and also the kind of structures that must be put in place.
“In terms of structures, nothing much has been done except some piece meal appointments, some of which are in contradiction to the Constitution. We are developing a policy brief on that issue and we will share once its out”, she said.
Section 301(1) (a) of the Constitution states that there is need for an Act of Parliament which provides for equitable allocation of capital grants…and (b) any other allocations to provinces and local authorities.
None of this has been done leading to the current illegalities.
Currently the money being released directly to Councils which are incorporating into their budgets for their projects.
Local authorities that have received the devolution funds are Chirumhanzu RDC which got about $1,6 million, Gokwe North ($1,4 million), Gokwe South ($2,3 million), Zibagwe ($2,1 million), Mberengwa ($1,3 million), Tongogara ($2,4 million), Runde ($2,8 million), Gweru, ($3,4 million), Kwekwe ($4 million), Redcliff ($4,8 million), Zvishavane ($4,8 million), Gokwe Town ($4,7 million) and Shurugwi ($4,8 million).