Luthando Mapepa Chipinge Correspondent
GOVERNMENT is set to disburse $57 million, under the inter-government fiscal transfer fund, to Chipinge Rural District Council in a move that will see a massive revamp of key rural social amenities throughout the district.
The lion’s share of the money will be invested in the education, health, water and roads maintenance, among other key areas.
Speaking during the Chipinge rural district development committee (RDDC) meeting last Tuesday Chipinge, RDC chief executive officer Mr Blessing Mamvosha confirmed the development adding that the funds would be released in batches.
Chipinge RDC is the second council in the country to receive the highest funding from Treasury under devolution, after Makoni Rural District Council.
“So far we have received $12 million from the Government and more funds will be released in batches. A number of projects are already lined up in the district.
“From the funds received so far, we have set aside $500 000 for the construction of classroom blocks and the corresponding ablution facilities and drilling boreholes to alleviate water shortages in some villages in the district.
“We are also setting aside a substantial amount of money for the construction of Kubatana and Zamuchiya clinics in Musikavanhu constituency. The construction of these two clinics is expected to start soon.
“We will also channel some money towards capital projects where the RDC will purchase an assortment of equipment and machinery to service and make our gravel roads trafficable,” said Mr Mamvosha.
He urged councillors to activate their respective ward development committees (WADCOs) and village development committees (VIDCOs) to ensure accountability in the allocation and use of funds released under the devolution programme.
The role of the committees is to plan and coordinate all development activities from village to the ward level.
“Our communities used to have ward development committees that inform authorities on critical needs and development set targets, but they are no longer in existence. We need to train the traditional leaders to have a full understanding of what is going on,” he said.
The district development co-ordinator (DDC) will supervise VIDCOs and WADCOs.
The traditional leaders and local MP have applauded the Government gesture and called for the training of traditional leadership to appreciate and become catalysts of rural development.
MP for Musikavanhu Dr Joshua Murire said about $2,6 million has been disbursed throughout the constituency.
“So far $2,6 million has been used in my constituency. There is school furniture that was distributed in schools around the constituency by the local authority.
“Chipinge RDC is repairing Gumira Clinic in Ward 22 and building staff houses at Zamchiya Clinic for $500 000 and $600 000, respectively.
About $1,6 million was set aside for the construction of a classroom block at Kubatana Secondary School in Ward 20,” he said.
Dr Murire said training of local leadership was necessary to achieve devolution goals.
“If traditional leaders and villagers are consulted, their priorities include construction of new schools and clinics since we have schoolchildren walking 17km to the nearest school. We have cases where patients travel for very long distances to access health services,” said Dr Murire.
Headman Tinashe Dumisayi said it was difficult to achieve set goals when traditional leaders lacked clear understanding of the devolution concept and agenda.
“As it stands, some of us do not understand what devolution is all about. We don’t even have community development structures to plan and coordinate development activities, which demonstrates the need for training for key stakeholders,” he said.