City of Harare capital projects are at a standstill as the government has disbursed a paltry 3% out of ZWL 2,335 billion which was allocated to the city in the 2022 National Budget.
This was revealed at a Budget Performance and Service Delivery Review meeting for January to May 2022 by Takatadzeyi Musere the Harare City Council Head of Accounts.
“We were allocated ZWL$2,335 billion for devolution funds for the year 2022.
“The disbursement that we received up to May is ZWL$73 259 190 and we have utilized the ZWL$73 million.
“You can tell that whatever projects that we had put under devolution they’re at a standstill. We are doing nothing.
“We don’t have the funding so this has a major impact on service delivery because we thought that the funds from devolution will enable the council to kick start all the activities which needed urgent attention given the setup of our cash-flows,” she added.
Musere assured residents that council is engaging the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works to make sure that the city gets its allocation so that they can continue with the projects.
“For the ongoing devolution funds projects, we have the Kuwadzana sewer line replacement, Crowbrough (Aerated Lagoon) and Mabvuku Polyclinic admin block.
“So that ZWL$73 million which l alluded to, that is what it has been utilized. We are hopeful and appealing as we have been making engagements with our parent ministry in terms of devolution funds disbursement.”
Government has perennially drawn criticism over its handling of devolution funds with critics citing continued centralisation of power over the funds.
Lately the Ministry of Local Government has even come up with projects for Local Councils which is in contravention of the Devolution statutes as enshrined in the constitution.
The issue of spiking inflation has also become a major factor as the allocated funds have lost value before being disbursed.
The inflation rate in Zimbabwe increased to 191.60 per cent in June from 131.70 per cent in May of 2022.
Currently it is the highest in the world.