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Citizens call for Devolution legal framework

Parliament of Zimbabwe should hasten the promulgation of legal framework enabling the implementation of Devolution so as to address the current policy inconsistencies and to promote parliament’s oversight role in the management of Devolution Funds and Constituency Development Funds. This was said by participants in response to the Public lecture delivered by the Speaker of Parliament, Hon Adv. Jacob Mudenda in Bulawayo yesterday.

The Public Lecture was conducted by WILD in partnership with Lupane State University, Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association, South Western Region Gender Network under the theme “The Role of Parliament in Public Finance Management: A case of Devolution Funds and Constituency Development Funds in Zimbabwe.”

Honourable Adv. Jacob Mudenda acknowledged the weaknesses in the current legal framework on the management of CDF and Devolution funds. He went on to say that Parliament is working on a legal instrument to foster accountability on the two funds before the end of the 9th Parliament.

“The reported legal and regulatory challenges are currently being addressed by Parliament. A Bill has been proposed to improve accountability in the management of CDF and this will be achieved by the end of this 9th Parliament.”

Commenting on the delay in setting up of provincial councils, Adv. Mudenda said Parliament should expeditiously enact the Provincial Councils Act in order to set out an institutional framework for the implementation of Devolution.

“This will define how the powers of the organs of state and other agencies shall be devolved to all administrative provinces and their councils,” he said.

Speaking at the lecture, one participant said legal and policy inconsistencies in Zimbabwe are a cause for concern as they do not show the commitment towards the implementation of Devolution in Zimbabwe.

“While there is no enabling law supporting devolution in the country, government is distributing “devolutions funds!” exclaimed the participant.

Other participants called on Parliament to ensure that it expeditiously concludes the process of enacting laws to provide oversight on the devolution funds and constituency development funds. Civil society contributions in the meeting called on parliament to strengthen its oversight role on the use of public funds.

 

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