‘Devolution won’t work under Zanu-PF’

The devolution of power concept, implemented under the Zanu-PF led government will not achieve its intended goals of empowering provinces, instead will be used as means of strengthening the ruling party’s political power, Alliance for People’s Agenda (APA) president, Dr Nkosana Moyo has said.

Devolution was adopted as a key component in Zimbabwe’s 2013 Constitution and is recognised as one of the founding values and principles.

The concept is largely founded on the principle of empowering provincial government councils to spearhead economic and social developmental projects in their areas by leveraging on local resources.

Devolution emphasises on economic development and not political power, which remains in the hands of the central government, under the country’s unitary state structure.

Dr Moyo warned that if devolution was to be implemented by the Zanu-PF government, the system would fail as the ruling party would put itself in more power positions.

“We need to be very careful in our thinking processes,” he said in a Know Your Right programme in partnership with Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) hosted by CITE Tuesday.

“I guarantee you today that devolution implemented by Zanu-PF will not work. Why? Because all the way down the system, Zanu-PF will put its people who are going to obey its orders, so it’s going to be devolution without devolution.”

He said devolution done properly would allow local communities to be led by people they choose genuinely and who represent their interests.

“But if the people are chosen by the president who sits on top of the country, they will do his bidding and this would be devolution in theory not practice. It would result in devolution without substance,” said the technocrat.

Dr Moyo, a former Zanu-PF minister who resigned from the government, urged people to understand that whatever the ruling party did was for its own benefit.

“So people will need to understand that what is done by Zanu-PF is worth nothing – worth zero. If devolution is run by Zanu-PF people, they will continue stealing in the name of devolution as they won’t believe in representing people,” he noted.

The APA leader said if the country’s constitution was implemented accordingly, Zimbabwe’s would be a better country today.

“Look at our constitution, it may not be perfect but if it were implemented, Zimbabwe would not be the same. Look at our constitution, human rights are guaranteed, provides for free and fair elections and there’s a section for anti-corruption yet all of these haven’t been implemented. Until we choose a right leader, these provisions will exist on paper and never in reality,” Dr Moyo said.

Zimbabwe’s Constitution on devolution (Section 264(1), provides that “whenever appropriate, governmental powers and responsibilities must be devolved to provincial and metropolitan councils and local authorities which are competent to carry out those responsibilities efficiently and effectively.”

The Constitution recognises 10 provinces, namely Bulawayo, Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, Midlands, Harare, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West, Manicaland and Masvingo.

The provincial tier of government is to be constituted by eight provincial councils and two metropolitan councils namely, Bulawayo and Harare.

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