July Moyo summoned to Parliament over US$389m devolution funds
Local Government minister July Moyo will be summoned to Parliament to explain the procedure he is using when disbursing ZWL42,5 billion (US$388 888 889 according to the official rate of the time) devolution funds without an Act of Parliament, Nehanda Radio has established.
Opposition Parliamentarians have been accusing Moyo of operating illegally by distributing devolution funds without a disbursement plan that is supposed to be created under an Act of Parliament.
The Treasury last year doubled the financial allocation towards the devolution programme and set aside ZWL42,5 billion (US$388 888 889 according to the official rate of the time) for 2022, up from ZWL19,5 billion that was set aside for 2021.
The funds that are being allocated to local authorities by Moyo are supposed to be directed primarily towards transport and related infrastructure, education, health, electricity, social amenities, water and sanitation projects.
Recently, the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) wrote a petition to the Clerk of Parliament, Kennedy Chokuda asking him to summon Moyo to the National Assembly to explain how devolution funds were being distributed.
Accordingly, Chokuda, on the 7th of September 2022, responded and promised to summon Moyo to the Parliament.
“I am in receipt of your petition wherein the above refers.
“I write to advise that your petition is admissible and an announcement shall be made in the National Assembly when it next sits,” he said.
In May this year, former Finance minister Tendai Biti asked the same question, ‘how devolution funds were being disbursed’.
He asked: “Madam Speaker Ma’am, the disbursement of devolution funds provided by Section 301 presupposes the existence of an Act of Parliament – that Act of Parliament is not there. How are they distributing devolution funds when that Act of Parliament is not there?
“Secondly Hon. Speaker Ma’am, why 11 years after the enactment of that Constitution have they failed to bring a law to Parliament dealing with devolution, Chapter 14 of the Constitution?”
Nehanda Radio has been reporting how Moyo is diverting more than US$55 million of devolution funds to buying fire trucks from Belarus for 89 councils allegedly at an inflated cost in more “rampant corruption”.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Belarusian crony Alexander Zingman, who runs Aftrade DMCC was awarded the multimillion dollar deal without going to tender.