Advisor interface on | the herald

the herald

Mukudzei Chingwere-Herald Reporter

Councilors from urban and rural councils are meeting in Harare to interact with government departments and each other as they work out how to improve services and planning and ensure the demands of their areas are met.

President Mnangagwa must now interact with councilors – both urban and rural – to build cohesive governance between the central government and the councils.

Ahead of the engagement with President Mnangagwa, the advisers spoke to several government ministers, who answered their questions yesterday to tell local authorities what the government is doing and what is expected of the councils.

Health issues are key at central and local government levels, and the government remains committed to having adequate health infrastructure alongside the decentralization agenda, the Vice President and Minister of Health and Care said. children, Constantino Chiwenga, during the meeting.

Vice President Chiwenga was speaking through the Permanent Secretary for Health and Child Care, Dr Jasper Chimedza.

“The Ministry of Health and Childcare remains committed to having a strong and adequate infrastructure in place alongside the decentralization agenda,” Vice President Chiwenga said.

“This is an ongoing process and the ministry has set milestones to assess the government’s progress towards achieving the 2030 vision.

“There is an opportunity to increase support in non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, kidney failure and others, as non-communicable diseases in general have become the leading cause of death.

“A national health insurance scheme is underway as we seek to ensure that everyone has access to at least 90% of primary care services.”

The health presentation focused on how decentralization has promoted access to primary health care through the provision of adequate infrastructure.

Decentralization in the health sector aims to provide more than 90% of essential health services to lower levels of the health system within the framework of universal health coverage.

This is where the local clinics, continually improved and upgraded, come in to ensure there is a strong network within easy reach of everyone with district hospitals providing the next level, again reasonably close to Most people.

But now the idea is to have health posts, one in almost every village, where advice and basic care can be given.

Vice President Chiwenga said that prevention is better than cure, with the main focus on early detection, diagnosis and intervention of diseases.

“The government has defined primary level health care services as community level and district level health care delivery platforms,” he said.

“Primary health care services have a functional and responsive district health system consisting of community-level services, clinic-level services, and district hospital-level services, which we generally refer to as the secondary level .

“Our national health strategy is clear as it seeks to leave no one and no place behind by embracing the primary health care approach as its core strategy for health care delivery.”

The government was strengthening the health approach within the framework of decentralization and universal health coverage, focusing on the construction of more than 6,000 health posts below the clinic, each to serve 350 households, or approximately 1,500 inhabitants for each health post, which translates to almost one health post. post by village.

Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Felix Mhona said the government is aware that a sustainable road network is a catalyst for decentralization and that productive sectors such as agriculture and mining are identified as the key to NDS1’s success.

He said it was imperative for the government to make deliberate interventions to address the poor condition of the roads through the implementation of the emergency road rehabilitation program 2.

Minister Mhona accused local authorities of misappropriating money set aside for the roads.

“We also noted with concern that some local road authorities were using ERRP2 resources to fund their own programs,” he said.

“The road authorities would deviate from the approved road works that have been budgeted under ERRP2 and make other roads.

“A concrete example is where ERRP2 funds were used to finance roads in social housing estates where they raised funds for road development. In other cases, ERRP2 funds have been used to fund non-program related salaries. This had a negative impact on progress and resulted in failure to meet set targets. »

The Minister of Civil Service, Labor and Social Welfare, Professor Paul Mavima, presented the Food Deficit Mitigation Program and Response Plan for next year and the role of traditional leaders.

“The Government of Zimbabwe remains committed to ensuring that no one starves to death,” he said.

“Wherever possible, in line with the transition from a welfarist to a development approach, which is at the heart of the national development strategy, food distribution will be coupled with food for the assets and public community works “.

Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo said the indaba is proving to be a huge success as the government learns from the councilors and hopes the councilors also learn from them.

National Housing and Social Amenities Minister Daniel Garwe said land barons and some councilors were parceling out land, a decision that was beyond their remit.

The Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Dr Anxious Masuka spoke about land use where fertile land that could be used for agricultural produce was channeled to residential settlements.

The President of the Zimbabwe Local Government Association, Mr. Guy Mutasa, said the indaba was a great opportunity for local authorities and government to interact on ways to improve service delivery.

“It’s a rare opportunity for advisers to be exposed to interacting and exchanging notes where things aren’t going well with line ministries,” he said.

“This is a first of its kind where rural and urban councilors meet and discuss issues affecting service delivery within their local authorities.”