Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
GOVERNMENT is working on modalities of paying provincial councillors before they are sworn into office as President Mnangagwa’s administration forges ahead with devolution of power.
Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Cde July Moyo said his Ministry and Treasury were working on how to pay the provincial councillors who were elected in the 2018 harmonised elections.
The Minister said this at a press briefing at Mhlahlandlela Government Complex on Friday.
Cde Moyo said Government already has a budget for the provincial councillors.
“On devolution and swearing in of provincial councillors yes we are progressing as I indicated. Fortunately the process also takes into account how we should be paying them. We have discussed now with the Minister of Finance (and Economic Development Professor Mthuli Ncube) we have discussed with the President their payment especially those elected who are not Members of Parliament or who are not Mayors, chairperson of councils,” said Cde Moyo.
“But for those who were elected we owe it to them, we must swear them, the budget is there for them to be paid and we are just processing. Because we have never paid them, as you know all our statutes paying of public officials is a function that is done between line Ministries like my Ministry, the Ministry of Finance and in a lot of cases together with the President for those who are elected. That is what we are processing and we have written memos. That will be done I can assure you. And we will take into account that they were elected last year and they also deserve to start their term in the manner that others did.”
Eighty provincial councillors for eight provinces except Bulawayo and Harare were elected during last year’s harmonised elections.
The provincial councillors are expected to drive the devolution of power agenda.
Cde Moyo said Government was still in the process of addressing constitutional hurdles involving provincial councillors for Bulawayo and Harare who were not elected.
According to section 269 of the Constitution, in metropolitan councils of Bulawayo and Harare, the Mayor is expected to chair the provincial council.
The council will also include elected National Assembly members and Senators.
“I know there was an omission in my view of 10 being elected in Bulawayo and Harare. There is an omission in the Constitution although the same Constitution refers to them as if they were elected but as we went for an election no body was elected as part of those 10 in Harare and in Bulawayo,” said Cde Moyo. — @nqotshili