CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) Manicaland chairperson, Proper Mutseyami has accused local government minister July Moyo of abusing devolution funds.
Mutseyami said Moyo was deliberately delaying the disbursement of the funds to local authorities so as he can keep embezzling the money.
The Dangamvura-Chikanga legislator said this during a constituency indaba recently convened by the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) in Mutare.
The Indaba brought together councillors and residents in Dangamvura-Chikanga constituency to discuss devolution and road rehabilitation.
During the Indaba residents expressed deep concern over poor workmanship on the roads that were recently upgraded in the border town, some of which have been marred by potholes within a short space of time.
“Minister (July Moyo) is deliberately delaying the enactment of a devolution enabling Act so that they use that legal gap to keep abusing funds. The problem with devolution right now is that there is no Act which enables the law enshrined in the constitution to be implemented. Devolution is just a mere talk because there is no an enabling Act,” Mutseyami said.
He noted that most devolution funds that are being disbursed especially for road rehabilitation are being abused as contractors are normally roped in without following proper tender procedures.
“Amongst members of parliament there is a view that devolution funds are not properly utilised in the designated provinces. These funds must be used to embark on big projects like building new roads, hospitals and schools.
“Ministry determines how these funds may be used without involvement of councillors. Councillors will be just told that there is a certain company that has come to spruce up roads yet these must go through a tender,” said Mutseyami.
He added: “A few people determine the company to construct roads yet those companies do not have adequate equipment to perform such a job. For example if you look at Jeff road, it was commissioned in March but it now has got a lot of potholes.”
Mutseyami further urged Moyo to urgently come up with an enabling Act in order to strictly monitor the allocation of devolution funds.
“This country voted for councillors who are supposed to form a provincial council in 2018. Up to now those provincial councillors have not started working and constituted, yet they are being paid every month.
“The minister is responsible for facilitating so that we have that Act. That is why we have an outcry of devolution funds because we have a legal grey area,” he said.
Large sums of money have been disbursed country-wide by government since President Emmerson Mnangagwa took over in 2017. All these funds have been disbursed without legal monitoring or evaluation structures in place.