Second Republic applauded for devolution funds initiative

By Memory Chamisa

THE first sitting of the year for the Fourth Session of the Ninth Parliament got underway this Tuesday, with an appraisal on the status of several bills.

Proceedings got underway with the reading of the second report of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works, National Housing and Social Amenities on the inquiry into the implementation of the devolution programme.

Chairperson of the portfolio committee, Honourable Miriam Chikukwa, gave a detailed report on the findings and recommendations from the tour made last year.

“We toured a number of districts, mainly Mutare City Council, Epworth, Nyanga, Gokwe, Gweru and realised some have immensely benefited from the devolution finds. However, the committee bemoaned the lack of an efficient system of monitoring and evaluation of the utilisation of devolution funds. This, as the committee notes, goes against the fundamental principles of transparency and accountability,” she said.

Debating the report, Honourable Torerai Moyo and Honourable Temba Mliswa called for transparency on devolution funds and engagement with all stakeholders.

“The projects need to be constantly monitored and we urge the committee to continue monitoring them as these funds in some districts have brought about good development,” said Hon. Moyo.

“There is a need for accountability on devolution funds. The Second Republic has been on the development trajectory and this cannot be derailed by incompetent council officers who are not held accountable. Moreover, this is taxpayers’ money,” noted Hon. Mliswa.

The Marriages, Child Justice and Guardianship of Minors Amendment bills are also expected to be passed into law this year.