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    Tuesday, 26 February 2019

    Devolution gathers momentum
    .Ultimatum for districts to submit blueprints
    MASVINGO-The Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs, Ezra Chadzamira has called upon all the seven administrative districts to submit their blueprints for funding under the devolution programme.
    The programme was allocated $31 million for each province by treasury in the 2019 budget and Chadzamira has given the districts until end of February to submit projects proposals for funding.
    “President Emmerson Mnangagwa promised to implement devolution according to the 2013 Constitution and the amendments to the statutes are being worked on. While the law is being changed treasury has already started the ball rolling by allocating money to kick start the program.
    “As the provincial development committee we have instructed all the districts to submit their blueprints projects beginning with identifying the mandatory 200 hectares of land for food production be it small grains or maize for food security,” said Chadzamira during an interview with The Mirror last Sunday.
    Chapter 14 of the 2013 Constitution provides for the creation of a provincial council under devolution to give power of local governance to the people as well as enhancing their participation in making decisions affecting them.
    Devolution is also meant to promote democratic, effective, transparent, accountable and coherent Government in the country and to ensure the equitable sharing of local and national resources.
    Recently the Government announced that plans are underway to amend the Constitution in order to strike off the provisions which allow senators and MPs to sit in the provincial council as that would be duplication of duties. The Government also argued that it would be very difficult for the legislators to supervise themselves as they are an arm of Government.
    Chadzamira said the Province is endowed with more dams per capita compared to other provinces and it will be the hub of irrigation for crops like wheat, sugar cane and winter maize.
    The Province will also contribute immensely in the mineral sector as Mashava mine is likely to open soon because pumping of water will be completed in March to allow mining to start as the mineral used to contribute 10% of GDP before it was shut down in 2004 said Chadzamira. There is also lithium from Bikita Minerals which is the third biggest producer in the world.
    He also added that there are quite a number of gold mines in Gutu, Mwenezi and Mashava while the Province has the second highest herd of cattle at 1.8million after Matebeleland.
    “Chivi District has identified Muzhwi Dam for irrigation and Masvingo has Mushandike Canal for upgrading and we are still awaiting other districts to submit their blueprints,” said Chadzamira.
    The provincial development committee is composed of the Minister, provincial administrator, all the district administrators, RDC chairmen, CEOs and Mayor and provincial heads of all Government departments.
    The Minister also added that the 1.8 billion cubic metres Tugwi Mukosi Dam will also play a central role in the devolution matrix as it will be the centre of fishery, tourism and will provide 17 MW of electricity to the national grid.

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