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‘Muddy Natural Resource Governance Failing Service Delivery’

Debt management advocacy group, the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) has decried the continued lack of transparency in public resource governance, blaming it for poor service delivery across the country.

In its situational report for July, ZIMCODD said the failure to provide sufficient services had widened the inequality gap between the rich and the poor.

“Public resource governance continues to deteriorate in Zimbabwe due to multiple challenges such as the lack of transparency and accountability in public resource governance at the very local level. The limited access to information on exploration of public resources further points to the opaque nature of natural resource governance at local government level.

“The failure to provide sufficient and affordable public services has widened the inequality gap between the rich and the poor and has incited public skepticism which is indicative of the trust deficit between the government and its’ citizens. As with the other issues before, the July issue exposes revelations of a governance scourge underpinned on public resources mismanagement. This is despite the availability of a myriad of legal and regulatory frameworks that speaks to sound public finance management,” noted the report.

ZIMCODD called on the Government to among other issues, ensure equal distribution of resources between all demographics.

“The government should ensure fair and equal distribution of resources between all demographic groups especially women and youth who because of decades of regressive culture and religion have been denied the enjoyment of the national cake. This has widened social and economic injustices within and between communities.

“The government must create a conducive environment for citizen participation in public resource governance. The involvement of citizens in public resource governance creates a feedback mechanism that can be used by the government as an institutional memory building and learning capacity for economic development.

“There is a need for sound social protection systems and robust fiscal mining regimes that protects mining resource communities against exploitative mining companies. The cost of living continues to rise, with prices of basics remaining out of touch for the poor. Social protection initiatives like cash transfers, grants, and free farm inputs to vulnerable members must be accelerated,” said ZIMCODD.

The report added “There is a need for an efficient transportation system where the public operator (ZUPCO) competes with private players. As competition increases, prices will fall thereby increasing consumer welfare. Apart from the competition, the ZUPCO fleet is now overwhelmed by passenger traffic (increased demand). Hence, adding private players in the mix will reduce the loss of productive time by the public in the queues and reduce possible COVID-19 infections.”

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