Buhera South Zanu PF MP Joseph Chinotimba is angry with his Rural District Council after it failed to utilise more than $335 000 meant for road rehabilitation, highlighting an unacceptable “shame of low absorption capacity” in local government.
At least $260 000 remained unspent at the end of the financial year yet roads in Buhera are in a poor state, chronically underfunded, and are becoming more dangerous.
Transport and Infrastructural Development minister Joram Gumbo told a meeting with local authorities and MPs at a city hotel yesterday that only $153 000 of the allocated $413 000 under the Zinara Emergency Road Fund had been used.
Gumbo said Buhera had lost control of $260 000 which it had failed to make use of in 2017 — a revelation that immediately courted the ire of Chinotimba.
The Public Finance Management Act provides that every appropriation shall expire and cease to have effect at the close of the financial year for which it is made and that unspent money at the close of the financial year shall be returned to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
An angry Chinotimba expressed shock at information that his constituency used only $153 000 after being awarded $413 000 and the unused money would be forfeited to the State.
“I’m bitter. We use our money (as MPs) only to be told here that there is money that we didn’t utilise — a lot of money.
“You can imagine how I’m feeling.”
– Daily News