Byo residents demand devolution

Nketa residents in Bulawayo have called for the speedy implementation of devolution of power so to promote job creation for locals in the city.  

This came out during a Zimbabwe Human Rights Association meeting held at Nketa hall Thursday to unpack the concept of devolution and enhance community participation and understanding of the devolution process.

The objective of devolution which is enacted in Chapter 14 of the 2013 constitution is to enable people at local authority levels to increase their participation in decision making and in the exercise of state powers.

Speaking during the meeting, a resident who identified himself as Mr Mbambo said devolution is necessary to end corruption in local government.

“As resident we want devolution to be implemented, we voted for it in 2013 constitution, it is now shocking that we have to advocate for it again to be implemented.

“Devolution will close the loophole of having leaders coming from other areas to be voted in by the locals.

“As residents, we have noticed that these politicians have no goal of developing our communities, they are only concerned about where ever they come from, that is why as people of Matabeleland are lagging behind in issues of development,” Mbambo said.

He said late implementation of devolution gives room for leaders to employ people from other parts of the country.

“Late implementation of devolution is affecting us as residents because when it comes to opportunities even menial jobs in the city council, the leaders then choose to bring their own people who are not from our communities, but we are the same people who would have voted them in.

“As long as there is no devolution our leaders have the power to bring people from other areas, leaving us residents of that area suffering,” he said.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe Human Rights Association Regional co-ordinator for Matabeleland Province, Celia Mukwewa said there is a need for communities to have a clear position of the devolution they want.

“There is a need for residents to be aware of devolution concept so that when Parliament comes with Parliamentary hearings, they will have a position to say this is the devolution we want.

“Communities are really worried that the constitution has existed for so many years but the concept of devolution has not been taken seriously. Areas such as Matabeleland have also been underdeveloped for a long time, communities believe that the implementation of devolution will develop this region of the country.

She said residents have to hold their Members of Parliament accountable for devolution to be implemented.

“There is a need for communities to hold their Members of Parliament accountable regarding the implementation of devolution.

“As resident continue pressuring the implementation of devolution as power is only there when masses in their numbers demand its implementation,” she said. 

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