HARARE mayor Jacob Mafume has threatened to take government to court over non-allocation of devolution funds to the city, a move that has reportedly stalled service delivery in the capital.

Mafume told source on the sidelines of Harare City Council (HCC)’s mid-term budget review meeting in Mutare that they had no option, but to force government to disburse devolution funds because the city was now lagging behind in terms of developmental projects.

He said to date, HCC received less than 15% of its allocated devolution funds. “We are hosting our mid-term review meeting here in Mutare to find out if we are on the right track on our developmental projects. This is a soul-searching meeting and we are looking at various issues.

“The devolution funds are not coming, I think the Minister of Local Government, July Moyo, is allocating the funds to his friends. We need money for water piping, and we need to repair some sewers, and we need street lights,” Mafume said.

“We have been allocated just about 15% of our devolution funds, yet we are supposed to get at least $2,3 billion. We only received just over $100 million. For us, this is clear sabotage.

“We are now lagging behind in terms of development. We have now decided to take the Local Government minister July Moyo to court over non-disbursement of the devolution funds as we cannot continue to wait when we are being sabotaged. It does not make any sense because they are saying we should also pay Geogenix BV using the devolution funds. Where is the money?”

Efforts to get a comment from Moyo were fruitless as his phone went unanswered.

The complaints by Mafume come as the Combined Harare Residents Association has also approached the High Court asking it to stop Moyo from disbursing devolution funds meant for developmental projects in Harare to Geogenix BV for the Pomona waste to energy project.

The controversial project will force HCC to fork out US$2 million by the end of this month to settle the Pomona waste-to-energy bill, which keeps accruing.

The agreement compels HCC to pay US$22 000 daily to Geogenix, whether it dumps waste or not at Pomona.

The City of Harare refused to pay the bill after resolving to suspend the 30-year agreement, arguing that it had no capacity to sustain the deal.

Source Newsday