Harare residents push for devolution of power

HARARE – Harare residents have expressed concern that the promised devolution of power which partially found expression in the new Constitution is yet to be seen.

Combined Harare Residents Association (Chra) chairperson Simbarashe Moyo said devolution, as enshrined in the Constitution, was critical to transfer responsibilities and resources from central government in order to establish a sound financial base for each provincial and metropolitan council and local authority.

The new Constitution created eight provincial councils with 10 councillors each, elected through proportional representation.

There are also two metropolitan provincial councils — Harare and Bulawayo — that will spearhead development in these respective cities.

Mayors of Harare and Bulawayo will chair the Harare and Bulawayo metropolitan provinces respectively.

“We are of the view that without proper implementation of devolution of governmental powers and responsibilities, as enshrined under Section 264 of Zimbabwe’s Constitution, the decentralisation exercise will continue to be a pipe dream,” Moyo said.

Residents Forum coordinator Denford Ngadziore said without devolution, resources cannot be distributed equally.

“With devolution, priority areas are easier to manage because intensive consultations. It will be easier because a provincial tier of government will focus on a particular area.

“More importantly, devolution curbs uneven development because it provides for equitable distribution of resources from the fiscus,” he said.

During the constitution-making process, President Robert Mugabe’s party, Zanu PF, had opposed devolution, saying it was divisive.

And when he officially opened the first session of the eighth Parliament of Zimbabwe, the Zanu PF leader was mum on the Provincial Councils Bill, which is supposed to give effect to devolution.

Comments (1)

That provision would be luck to survive. Zanu pf is allergic to decentralisation of governmental functions.In fact dictatorship thrives on centralisation of power.The stark reality is that the provision may be severely watered down or completely removed altogether.

Gen. Spinola - 27 August 2017

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