Devolution Bill will address illegal vending: Ziyambi

Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Ziyambi Ziyambi, says the Devolution Bill, soon to be passed into law will deal with illegal traders who continue to violate municipal by-laws.

Minister Ziyambi made these remarks in Parliament, Wednesday, citing that there are various crimes that have been recorded which can be dealt with by municipal courts 

Devolution entails the transfer of power from the central government to the local government level, however, the lack of an operationalisation Act has made it difficult for local councils to function effectively. 

The minister was responding to a question from Nketa MP, Phelela Masuku, who had inquired when the Bill would be passed into law. 

“The Minister of Local Government and Public Works is working towards ensuring that we realise that.  We have realised that there are certain crimes that occur within the municipal area, like vending crimes and some of the traffic crimes. The municipal court should surely be dealing with that.  So, we are working at ensuring that we get to that.  It is work in progress between my Ministry and the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works,” he said. 

Mutare Central MP Muchi Chanyangana weighed in to note that conversations about the Bill has been ongoing since 2018 and no progress has been made to date. 

“My supplementary question emanates from the fact that the question that has been raised is contained in the Devolution Bill.  Since 2018, we have been asking when the Devolution Bill is going to be presented in Parliament.  So, my question to the Hon. Minister is; when should we expect the Local Authorities Bill and the Provincial Councils Bill to be presented before Parliament?” he said. 

Another legislator Rusty Markham inquired if there have been any consultations pertaining to the Bill that have been done.  

“Could the Minister confirm that he has contacted, spoken and taken the advice of stakeholders in the Devolution Bill which includes Members of Parliament who were elected and councillors who were elected?  I do not know anyone who has been contacted or tendered anything to do with the new devolution in the last 18 months,” he asked. 

Minister Ziyambi explained that the Bill is being treated as a priority and will be finaslised before the current Parliament is dissolved ahead of the 2023 elections. 

“Madam Speaker, this is not a new question and we have dealt with the question before.  Hon. Chinyanganya is very impatient but like I have always said, this is now work in progress and very urgent.  We are about to go to elections and some of the issues in that Bill pertains to provincial councillors and we cannot go for a third election without resolving it. So, we are working towards ensuring that Bill comes before the dissolution of this Parliament,” he said. 

In response to Markham, Minister Ziyambi said, “The process is not complete.  The Bill has not passed all the processes.  Members of Parliament and members of the public, once the Parliamentary process starts, their views will be taken into consideration once the Bill is gazetted.  So, the Hon. Member must hold his horse, he must wait a little bit and ensure that he organises all the stakeholders so that they can give us input into the Bill. “ 

“So, it is a process that is ongoing and there is nothing to hide really in terms of development of this Bill.  We want to realise what is in the Constitution in terms of our devolution agenda and any feedback that can enrich that particular Bill is welcome.” 

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