COMMENT: Devolution agenda is exactly what the doctor ordered

Source: COMMENT: Devolution agenda is exactly what the doctor ordered | Sunday News (Opinion)

THE National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) document says that Devolution is one of the values espoused in Vision 2030, upholding the tenets enshrined in the Constitution of providing for the devolvement of powers and responsibilities to competent Provincial/Metropolitan Councils and Local Authorities.

Devolution seeks to make the system of governance community based and people-centred by enhancing community participation in making decisions on local development issues that affect them and in the exercise of governmental powers, while upholding the preservation of national unity.

This signifies a new way of governance in the Second Republic where, decentralisation is a key feature and strategy for non-discriminatory and just governance as well as inclusive and transformative socio-economic development.

The policy of devolution has turned out to be what the doctor ordered, as there has been massive infrastructure development across the country from funds availed through the Devolution Funds provided by Central Government. The projects that have been funded through devolution have impacted positively on people’s lives.

Addressing multitudes of Zanu-PF supporters at a star rally in Siabuwa, Binga recently, President Mnangagwa said the Second Republic was pushing hard the devolution agenda and $42,5 billion has been allocated so far, with Matabeleland North getting $3,2 billion. Schools, clinics, roads and other projects have been constructed in the province.

President Mnangagwa said Binga in particular, once seemingly marginalised, was set to get its first-ever nursing school and vocational training centre while a decent border post will be built. Chiefs, youths and women are set to be empowered after the ruling party availed 31 fishing rigs which the President is set to commission soon. The district also got four Zupco buses.

“Under the Second Republic we are implementing the devolution policy and resources are being channelled to provinces and districts to enable the people to fund priority projects.

We have set aside $42,5 billion to fund devolution projects and programmes. Here in Matabeleland, we have allocated $3,2 billion and that money goes to construction of schools, clinics, diptanks and other such projects meant to improve the people’s welfare. We have heard that you want a vocational training school and it is going to be built soon,” said President Mnangagwa.

As early as 1984, Government pronounced the need to provide for the organisational structure that allows citizens to participate in development planning.

Some progress was made but not to expected levels. Resultantly, lower tier development structures were instituted from village up to provincial level and legislation was put in place to facilitate the functioning of these lower tiers of Government, reads part of the NDS1 document.

In 2020, Government approved the Devolution and Decentralisation Policy which guide the implementation of the Devolution and Decentralisation process whose objective is to devolve power to the sub-national structures to enable a faster efficient and effective response to challenges of the delivery of public services, development, democracy as well as the imperative of sustaining national unity and peace.

A lot of resources have been channelled to Devolution projects, and there is no single local authority and rural authority across the country that has not received funding from government, hence there is a lot of activity on the ground.

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