Defend devolution with your vote

HARARE - The finalisation of the constitution-making process on January 17, 2013 exactly six months after the initial agreement of the July 18, 2012 announcement by the three Principals of the GPA namely Welshman Ncube, Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai in the presence of Mugabe’s side kick Arthur Mutambara opens new opportunities for settlement of the Zimbabwean political question.

It is without any doubt that the Zimbabwean political question complicated, as it is, mainly hinged on fragile national institutions that are a result of a weak constitution that has allowed those in power to run rhapsody over the citizenry.

Instead of providing checks and balance and providing a framework in which citizens are governed in a just and fair manner.

The Constitution has allowed for the suppression of the citizenry in all respects.

In fact simply put, the current constitutional order and lack of constitutionalism compounded with the culture of impunity and disrespect of the masses have turned Zimbabwe into a global embarrassment.

Instead of providing safeguards for the protection of the citizens the Constitution has been providing for the total oppression of its own.

The constitutional order not only provided for the oppression of the citizens in terms of their basic democratic right but was also designed to be a vehicle for plunder and mutilation of other people’s wealth.

The current over-centralised system of government which is slowly but surely kissing Zimbabwe goodbye promoted this tragic state of affairs in which some provinces became vampires and literally sucked dry other provinces in the exact manner that a vampire sucks out blood for the living.

Unfortunately for those whose DNA is about suppression and promoting the suffering of others this was the same system and they were prepared as they are now to perpetuate a system that down-rightly relegates other citizens to second class citizens’ status.

These are the people who will always cry loudest when people from other regions demand economic justice by being allowed to have control of their destiny through the control of their resources and political power.

The burden that Ncube carried against a sea of resistance from Mugabe and deceitful pretence from Tsvangirai on the issue of devolution of power is a telling tale of the entrenchment of how the two men are different sides of the same coin.

It is clear that these two men left to themselves will never have agreed to this but because of the pressure continuously exerted by Ncube the country can celebrate that there is movement towards the creation of a fair and just Zimbabwe.

One day when the full story is told on why Mugabe and Tsvangirai worked hand in glove to exclude Ncube Zimbabweans will see for themselves how these two men are just head and tail of the same coin.

In fact we are tempted to make hair-raising revelations of what really happened beyond the walls of the negotiation rooms especially the last meeting in which Ncube forced a deal.

This is the reason why it’s time to be vigilant and protect to the gains made in the new constitution.
The first defence to the historic victory on devolution is to vote “Yes” for the new constitution.

It has been our theme song, sung without discord that no devolution no constitution and indeed because there is devolution in the new constitution it’s time to defend the draft by voting emphatically for a yes.

This however, is only the first line of defence of the constitution and the provisions on devolution.
The second and most important one is to ensure that the parties vote emphatically in the next election for people and the parties that believe and are committed to the total implementation of the devolution.

There is a need to ensure that the devolution that we have gained is not just paper devolution.
It should be devolution in the real sense. This means that councillors, MPs, senators and members of provincial government are all committed to the implementation of the devolution clauses.

It would be tragic if the citizens forget quickly who was against devolution and who was pretending to want devolution of power in their vote.

One thing that the people of Zimbabwe should not forget is that one of the biggest problems facing the country is failure to implement policy and legal positions that are written in clear ink.

The reasons for this are clearly to do with placing individuals in power and characters who are not interested in those positions but having just been dragged by circumstances to be part of that.

Thus is important to state because the devolution we have should work and this can only happen if there are supporting human resource structures to promote its provisions.

The only political leader who has shown unwavering commitment to devolution of power is Ncube and even Zanu PF through its Copac representation, Paul Mangwana acknowledges that during the constitution-making process Ncube’s team was alert on everything but even more alert when it came to clauses on devolution of power.

There is no other better way of defending devolution than by a thunderous vote for them.
It is common knowledge that what Mugabe agrees to under coercion he will certainly try to recover through sabotage at implementation level.

This is the reason why there is need to consolidate the consummation of devolution of power by giving their vote to those prepared to defend devolution.

And just to demonstrate how paranoid some people are about fair and just distribution of resources and national wealth, there is a clause in the draft constitution which while acknowledging that Zimbabwe will be a unitary state with devolved power, it goes on to explain that devolution does not mean cessation.
The net effect of this is that people may begin to have a greater interest in wanting to know or even taste this system that the constitution tries to bar.

Whoever, thought they were being a genius in this formulation should be made to know that they are just too far away from being geniuses.

In fact it confirms what we have always known, that there are few who are selected that wants to eat on behalf of the masses while the masses are hungry in perpetuity.

The new proposals where there is creation of a provincial government led by a provincial governor who is elected by the people within the confines of representative democracy.

It does not matter what term is used to call the new structures, the long and short of it is that the people in charge of the provinces are no longer appointed by the skewed system of partisan appointments.

 The new constitutional framework finally provides for people to drive their destiny.

It is my conclusion that devolution would not work if the voters do not support it by voting into power those who genuinely believe in devolution.

It does not help the cause of devolution to vote for a councillor, member of Parliament or senator who comes from a party that is led by a president who does not believe in devolution because they will just sabotage it.

It is thus left to the voters to make devolution work.

The real battle for proper devolution of power has just begun and can only be won through your vote to those who have not disappointed in the devolution struggle.

In that regard Welshman Ncube remains the most decorated soldier of the devolution struggle and therefore, the only one you can entrust to defend devolution of economic and political power. - Qhubani Moyo

*Moyo is the director of policy and research in the MDC led by Professor Welshman Ncube.

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