Mwenezi hotly debates $32m devolution funds


MWENEZI – There was hot debate at Mwenezi Rural District Council recently when councillors engaged on how to distribute the RTGS$32 million devolution funds received from Government.

The funds were received in March 2021.

The Chief Executive officer Albert Chivanga told councillors gathered at Neshuro Boardroom that the emphasis of the current allocation is to uplift health and education sectors.

The emphasis of the funds, said Chivanga is to support the most marginalized wards and finishing off projects like construction of schools and clinics that have already been started.

Some projects lined up for the funds are the construction of Chovelele and Petronella clinics where villagers are walking long distances to access health services.

However, a number of councillors intervened after the presentation and said that devolution funds must be distributed evenly throughout the wards. They said that some wards have never benefitted from devolution funds and villagers there still wonder what devolution is.

In the forefront of demanding even distribution of funds were councillors Samuel Makumure Mabhena of Ward 3, Samuel Kwinika ward 15 and Councillor Passmore Madzudzu of ward 4.

“Last year many projects were done in Mwenezi West, people in Chief Mawarire’s area in Mwenezi East specifically Ward 3 just hear about devolution but have never benefited from it and this year why cannot you also extend the devolution funds to my ward?’’ asked Mabhena.

Madzudzu said everyone needed a piece of the devolution cake because every ward has problems and priority projects.

Kwinika said his Ward 15 was one of the most marginalised in the district and said there was urgent need to provide it with development funds.

“People in Ward 15 were resettled in 2000 but up to now there are no roads and boreholes. Schools like Dembe and Turf are hard to locate due to poor road network and poor building structures. These are some of the areas that desperately require devolution funds,’’ says Kwinika.

Talking in an interview with Two Nations, Chivanga envisions that it is healthy and allowed for Councillors to air their views on developmental issues but the thrust here is to make sure that the majority benefit especially those who are in dire need of social services.

“We are trying to make life easier for people in those wards by supplying social services, councilors should write project proposals which they need to be carried out in their areas so that they will be looked into but for now we are into building Choverere clinic in ward 17 and Petronella clinic in ward 13 which are the vast wards in the district without clinics’’, says Chivanga.

Other projects lined up to be undertaken using devolution funds are construction of new classroom blocks at Chisase Primary, Madzidzi Primary, Chipangai Primary, Rata Primary, Alfa Joy Secondary, Valley Primary, Mfula Secondary, Bubi Primary, Matande Primary, Nyangambe Primary, and Rushangarumwe Primary, re- gravelling of roads and drilling of 4 boreholes in wards 4, 18, 13 and 15.

 The majority of Councillors said it is good to finish those ongoing projects and move on to other projects in resettlement areas since a lot of development partners are not willing to work in resettlement areas.

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