MUTARE mayor Blessing Tandi Tuesday rapped government for its sluggish pace in the allocation of devolution funds, saying President Emmerson Mnangagwa is giving preference to rural district councils for political expediency despite their minimal contribution to Zimbabwe’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Tandi was speaking during the maiden State of The City Address which was held at Queens Hall.
He pleaded with President Mnangagwa and his cabinet, when disbursing devolution funds to prioritize provincial and metropolitan cities in order to foster a speedy rate of development within major city centres.
“Mutare City Council has only received $32 849 485, 47 in devolution funds out of the budgeted figure of $192 000 000. It shows how the national government is not timeously disbursing the much needed resources to Mutare City,” Tandi said.
“We want to see development unfolding courtesy of the devolution agenda and can only be realised if more resources allocations are put to provincial capitals and metropolitan cities,” he said.
He lamented government’s decision to allocate more funds to rural district councils saying urban local authorities deserve more recognition as they contribute a large chunk to the country’s GDP.
“As far as I can analyse the disbursements that have been effected so far, especially in roads and administration, one may realise that some rural district authorities are receiving more funds than their urban counterparts. We assume that most probably the majority of investments and the major contribution to the country’s GDP comes from urban local centres. We are appealing to government to also consider us urban local authorities in terms of devolution disbursements,” he said.
“Taking into account the large volumes of vehicles we now have in the eastern border town, devolution funds will be able to assist us to make our roads more trafficable,” said Tandi.