Residents’ Coalition Demand Constitutional 5% Disbursement for Local Authorities

Residents Coalition Demand Constitutional 5% Disbursement for Local Authorities

A coalition of residents’ associations is calling upon the government to timeously disburse at least five per cent of the national revenues to local authorities as stipulated by Section 301 (3) of the Constitution.

A coalition of residents’ associations is calling upon the government to timeously disburse at least five per cent of the national revenues to local authorities as stipulated by Section 301 (3) of the Constitution.

This comes after the government disbursed ZWL$453 million to the local governance in the Mid-term budget and Economic review presented by Finance and Economic Development, Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube.

The Citizens Devolution Taskforce says the disbursed amount to the 92 urban and rural local authorities represents 1,32% of the ZWL34.2billion collected revenue and 0,71% of the total budget of ZWL$63.6 billion for the 2020 fiscal year.

“Based on these figures, it is clear that the disbursements may fail to meet the at least 5% margin stipulated by the constitution,” the organization says.

“Falling short of the 5% will remove any basis by government to claim compliance with the provision of the constitution.

The Citizens Devolution Taskforce also says the timeous disbursement of the funds will allow for predictability given the high a rate yearly inflation of 737% as at June 2020.

“Furthermore, it would also appear that local authorities don’t have discretion on how these ‘devolution funds’ are used despite the fact that they are the governments closest to the people delivering most of the social services. Thus, accountability sways more to the top-down than bottom-up planning framework reducing the disbursement to conditional rather than unconditional grants as dictated by the constitution” Citizens Devolution Taskforce said.

 

“In order to resolve structural conflicts in the intergovernmental fiscal transfers, the Taskforce calls upon the government to take immediate steps to promulgate a law for revenue sharing among the different tiers of government as required by section 301 of the Constitution,” they continued. 

“More importantly, in the context of devolution implementation, the Taskforce reiterates its call for the government to set up an independent body to facilitate a broader, more inclusive and engendered devolution implementation process,” they went on.


Speaking on the funds transferred to local authorities, the Finance Minister revealed that the government failed to meet the transfer the half-year target of transferring $733 million to local authorities. 

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