By Sheron Tazvivinga/Amanda Muzhandamuri
Minister of State for Midlands Provincial affairs Larry Mavima has urged local authorities to utilize devolution funds to improve infrastructure and other service delivery initiatives in their districts.
Mavima recently toured the three local authorities in Kwekwe District which are Kwekwe, Redcliff and Zibagwe Rural District Council.
During his visits the message was the same, use devolution funds to improve the lives of the people in the communities.
“The devolution funds are not meant to be invested in the bank rather they should be used to develop infrastructure and other service delivery initiatives,” Mavima said.
He added that the funds should be used to initiate projects that would help create employment in the district as this would stimulate economic growth.
“Develop your infrastructure either using the intergovernmental funds or your own resources that way you will be able to attract investors,” he told stakeholders.
He said the funds received by the rural local authority were a reflection of the commitment by the government to see the success of devolution.
Mavima also said the funds could be used to renovate infrastructure destroyed during natural disasters.
“The council is also responsible for renovating government buildings which are affected by disasters. Schools are being destroyed by winds and hailstorm hence council should take it upon themselves in developing such,” said Mavima.
He also applauded the Redcliff City Council for using the devolution funds to renovate the S block of flats in Torwood which were last year December affected by a hail storm.
“I would like to applaud Redcliff Council for using the devolution funds in renovating the S block which was affected by a hailstorm. The council is in the process of painting and electrifying the S block and that is a good move,” he said.
He also added that devolution must be considered from an economic and social point of view so as to allow development in communities.
“Devolution must be viewed from both an economic and social point of view. This means the needs of the community must be catered for. This means education and health issues must be dealt with,” he said.
He also encouraged residents to pay rates.
Meanwhile, Mavima has also encouraged councils to engage community leaders on how to use the devolution funds.
“Kwekwe City Council should also engage with community leaders and discuss on how best devolution funds can be used. Community leaders consist of church leaders who also interact with people hence this can benefit the council on how to handle their projects. This also helps to speed the projects,” said Mavima.
He also added that devolution funds should be utilized for good service delivery.
“Devolution funds should be utilized for good service delivery and without good service delivery there is no life. Good service delivery consists of health, education, supporting the marginalized people as well as water supply and sanitation,” he said.
Mavima also applauded Kwekwe City Council for using funds to convert Garandichauya beer hall in Mbizo into a disease control facility.
“I would like to applaud Kwekwe city council for using funds on good service delivery by opting for a disease facility. Beerhalls are not more important than health facilities. Such health facilities should not only be centralized in the capital but rather even smaller cities are capable of having them,” said Mavima.
Meanwhile, Kwekwe Mayor Angeline Kasipo in an interview said that they are promising to use devolution funds for urban renewal.
“We safely promise that we will use the devolution funds on urban renewal and low cost houses as what the minister has advised us. We are going to build flats on virgin land so as to accommodate the marginalized,” said Kasipo.