'Devolution a disappointment'

Published: 16 July 2019
The huge public expectations raised by devolved government in Zimbabwe have turned into disappointment, the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (Zimcodd) has said, after government failed to avail US$310 million budgeted in the National Budget to facilitate devolution of power to provincial councils.

The Constitution proposes devolving the budget to 10 new counties, also handing them responsibility for basic healthcare, early education, local roads, and other infrastructure.
Under the proposed devolution of power initiative, taxpayers were due to live next to the people who were spending - or stealing - their money.

But the initiative is yet to be implemented, with Zimcodd calling on government to speed up the process to assist communities struggling to access basic public services such as primary health care.

"Areas like Epworth must be prioritised by government under devolution to reduce the spatial inequalities that currently exist.

"Epworth is one of the areas experiencing a deteriorating health system despite Section 76 of the Constitution which provides that every citizen and permanent resident of Zimbabwe has the right to have access to basic health care services including reproductive health services," Zimcodd said in a note to clients, adding those living in slums lack clean water sources, exposing residents to adverse health conditions.

It urged government to make a deliberate decision under the devolution process to extend financial resources that are necessary for improving public services. Zimcodd recommended that, in the meantime, government come up with deliberate income generation programmes targeting women and youth in order to create jobs and eradicate poverty.

Meanwhile, academics have also urged government to speed up the execution of the devolution concept.

Speaking during a Research and Advocacy Unity policy formulation workshop in Masvingo recently, Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) lecturer Simba Gukurume complained about the delay in implementing the initiative.

"It is disturbing to note that, it is now six years since we produced our home grown Constitution in which the aspect of devolution is more pronounced and yet nothing tangible has been done on the ground.

"Devolution is an important idea we must all embrace as Zimbabweans to enhance development initiative from district up to provincial level without solely waiting on central government," he said.
- dailynews
Tags: Devolution,


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