Legislators have demanded that government account for the 2020 Devolution Funds that were never disbursed by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube.
The Finance Minister failed to disburse full budget allocations to ministries and other entities that supported by the fiscus.
This has seen many of them failing to meet targets as well as implementing some of the planned projects.
Speaking in the National Assembly, Umzingwane legislator Levi Mayihlome demanded to know the government’s plans with regards to the unreleased funds.
He said people in his constituency want their share of the 2020 Devolution funds and an explanation.
“The communities that we represent want their pound of flesh like in the community that I represent, Umzingwane. They want to know why devolution funds for 2020 were not released and I want the person responsible for ensuring that those funds are released taken to account.
“Who is going to face that community and explain why those funds were not released because the pound of flesh is desired in my constituency,” he said.
In response to the demand, the Deputy Minister of Local Government Marian Chombo said “When we talk of accountability it is different from the release of funds. We are accountable for the funds that would have been released by the Ministry of Finance, but as far as being accountable for the money that is yet to be released is, it solely lies within the Ministry of Finance.
“My Ministry is of course responsible and accountable for those monies that would have been released to the Ministry and also downstream to the local authorities. Before its release, it is entirely the responsibility of Ministry of Finance,” she said.
The Dupty Minister added that Devolution Funds are a constitutional matter and must be released accordinly.
She said the measures to ensure release of the funds are being put in place.
“The devolution measures are being put in place to make sure that the devolution funds are released. Devolution funds is a constitutional right and they have to be released as and when but it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance to make sure that they are released on time.
“Also, there is a law that does not allow a roll-over of devolution funds that have not been disbursed by the end of the year. So whenever the end of the financial year is over, the funds that have not been released are turned to the Ministry of Finance,” she said. Get more Covid-19 Stats from CovidZW.info