Appointment of provincial ministers, a death knell on devolution: Analysts

The appointment of provincial ministers will impede on the full implementation of devolution of power, analysts have noted.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) last month released the names of provincial councils members for eight provinces except for Bulawayo and Harare Metropolitan provinces.

The constitution dictates that provincial and metropolitan councils are meant to give powers of local governance to the people and enhance their participation in the exercise of the powers of the State and in making decisions affecting them; as well as to promote democratic, effective, transparent, accountable and coherent government in the country.

Habakkuk Trust executive director Mr Dumisani Nkomo, said the government instead of devolving power to provinces had created a dual power system.

“Devolution is meant to give full authority to local governance,” he said.

“Appointment of provincial ministers means local authority would not be able to operate independently.

“All this happening is mere sweet-talk. Devolution will never really be implemented as long as there are Provincial ministers in play, it will only cause dualisation of power”.

Constitutional law expert Professor Welshman Ncube echoed Nkomo`s sentiments saying the appointment of provincial ministers hinders devolution of power.

“The process is meant to give full power to the local authority, without dualisation,” he said.

“As long as there are provincial ministers in place achievement of such will be close to impossible.

“The people will not be fully in control over their resources and how they are used. It would be hard from them to have their areas developed as they will be having other authorities to report to”.

Nkomo added that devolution comes in handy where issues on civil service employment, enrollment in tertiary education institutions and tender processes are concerned to enable people from respective regions to benefit from their resources.

“We also need to realise the (Matabeleland) region is strategically positioned in as far as accessibility to Zambia, Botswana and South Africa are concerned,” he said.

“Given the opportunity, the region could have its infrastructure developed.

“Bulawayo and Gwanda could serve as metropolitans, we need to move forward in digital era, repositioning for the future”.

Nkomo said there was need to remodel the provincial economic structure.

“We need to move away from conventional industries, focus more on alternative industries, be innovative and remodel,” he said.

“Such industries as arts and film can be properly established here in an attempt to move in line with globalisation. This can create employment for the people”.

Nkomo said there has to be legislation that creates an ease of doing business within the region attracting both private and public investors.

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