Zimbabwe: Councils Warned Over Devolution Funds

The Chronicle

Fairness Moyana in Hwange

GOVERNMENT has warned against delivering substandard work on devolution projects saying poor workmanship amounts to sabotage.

Speaking during the commissioning of an Early Childhood Development (ECD) block at Nechibondo Primary School in Hwange on Monday, Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Richard Moyo said Government will not take lightly the issue of contractors doing shoddy jobs.

The school block was built using $20 million from devolution funds availed by Government.

The minister urged councillors to play an oversight role by ensuring that projects meet set standards.

“The workmanship at this ECD block shows that the local authority was strictly supervising this project. I would like to commend HLB for this. Government emphasises that all its funded projects should be of high quality in order for the project to have the intended impact on communities. Sub-standard work on projects by contractors will never be tolerated. L

et me warn local authorities in the province, failure to come up with high quality projects amounts to sabotaging Government which is giving out financial resources for development,” he said.

“I also urge councillors to play an oversight role on projects being implemented by local authorities in order to ensure that they are of the required standard. This will ensure that councillors bring the best service to the people that elected them into office.”

Minister Moyo said the implementation of high impact projects is expected when citizens are involved in setting the development agenda.

“This Early Childhood Development (ECD) block that we are officially opening today was constructed using Devolution Funds. I would like to congratulate Hwange Local Board (HLB) for coming up with such a high impact project. Under devolution, citizens are involved in setting the development agenda in their communities and of course, today we are witnessing such an example.

Throughout the country we are observing developmental projects being undertaken as Government continues with its efforts to improve people’s lives under the visionary leadership of His Excellency the President, Cde ED Mnangagwa,” he said.

“This ECD block is expected to play a pivotal role towards improving the education sector in Hwange. Construction of the block is a clear indication that council and its community is moving together with Government’s vision where education should be used as a vehicle for employment creation and to revive the country’s economy.

I understand that the pupils here were being forced to take turns to use classrooms due to the huge enrolment. I’m therefore glad to say that the construction of this block will bring some relief, and set the standard for other local authorities.”

The school’s headmistress, Gertrude Magaisa said the project came at the right time as they were struggling with space which resulted in hot sitting and pupils alternating days to come to school.

“This has come as a relief to the ECD learners with an enrolment of 186 learners and staff compliment of teachers. According to the ministry policy these learners constitute nine classes which means we need to have nine ECD classrooms,” she said.

“However, looking at our enrolment versus number of classrooms we are still in short by over 10 classrooms and a computer lab. We still appeal for more classrooms to alleviate the problem of hot sitting and of learners alternating days of attending lessons due to Covid 19.”

HLB chairperson, Councillor Nqobile Mabhena said they have plans to construct a new primary school next year.

Source : https://www.chronicle.co.zw/devolution-delivers-hwange-ecd-block/

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