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» » » Shameless: Council uses devolution funds for worker’ salaries

Chipinge Rural District Council Offices
Leslie Karumbidza

Chipinge Rural District Council (RDC) has been accused of diverting devolution funds to workers’ salaries while service delivery continues to plunge into a devastating state, a recent report by Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) revealed.  

The rot was exposed by the Public Resource Management Situational Report which was conducted by ZIMCODD, with the aid of Community Resource Monitoring Agents (CORAs) following a survey which was carried in 54 districts for the period May 2021.

 A number of residents who were part of the survey expressed their disgruntlement on the use of devolution funds, which they said have nothing to show for it while council workers are getting paid.

“These devolution funds are being diverted as payrolls to council workers yet roads are full of potholes.

“Sewer pipes are bursting on a daily basis and there is nothing to show for devolution funds received,” reads part of the report.

The report also revealed that since Cyclone Idai hit the town in 2019, roads are in a bad state despite the fact that a fifth of the devolution funds went to the department of roads.

“Since Cyclone Idai the roads have not been repaired or maintained, yet 20 percent of devolution funds goes to the Ministry of Roads and Transport. Projects initiated in 2020 are still incomplete such as the solar project and the water project.

“This resulted in some of the projects equipment’s such as solar panels and water pipes to be stolen as they were lying idle,” reads the report.

The report also mentions the case of mismanagement of social grants that were supposed to be disbursed to residents as a Covid-19 cushion, with an attaché at the social welfare department in Chipinge diverting ZW$91 000 to personal use. 

When contacted for comment, Chipinge RDC Chief Executive Officer Blessing Mamvosha said there is no such thing like the diversion of devolution funds to workers’ salaries, and he promised to call TellZim News back with the full detail.

CORAs have been capacitated to monitor, document and report the abuse of public resources at district level on a monthly basis.

The goal is to enhance citizen agency in public resources monitoring and to promote citizen participation in economic governance.

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