By Correspondent

Various local authorities have been accused of using devolution funds for purposes outside their intended objectives.

The Acting Auditor General Rhea Kujinga said this has resulted in actual projects failing to be fulfilled.

“Central government disbursed devolution funds to Local Authorities.

“However, I noted that some Councils did not use the money as intended.

“For instance, Bindura Municipality received devolution funds amounting to ZWL34,2 million.

“However, ZWL7.7 million was used for salaries and ZWL19.2million was invested at the expense of undertaking development projects.

Gokwe Town Council, which received ZWL7.3 million in 2020, also failed to provide approved plans of projects.

The authority also failed to provide internal audit report on acquittals, minutes of meetings of project consultations or documentary evidence of implementation of the projects.

“Kadoma City Council utilized ZWL3.6 million from devolution funds which was 80% of the contract price for installation of eight (8) power correction units in 2020, however only one unit was partly installed.

Governance Issues

Kujinga added that many council remained plagued by many governance problems.

“Governance issues dominated my findings as they increased from 91 issues in 2021 to 139 in 2022.

“The same have remained high in all my reports over the last five years,” he said.

In 2021, Bindura Municipality allegedly committed ZWL46,4 million with an asset management company as a short-term investment.

However, the decision resulted in real value loss for the Municipality amounting to USD104 703.

“The Municipality also had unreconciled cash and cash equivalent balances amounting to ZWL25,8 million,” he added.

Many councils have struggled to operate smoothly in the current economic environment citing fiscal issues as the main challenge.

However, central government has already threatened many with interventions that include refusal to endorse budgets.

Addressing local authorities officials last weekend at HICC President Mnangagwa promised to come down hard on them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *