HomeLocal NewsSkewed governance structure blamed for Matabeleland marginalisation

Skewed governance structure blamed for Matabeleland marginalisation

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Three parties in Matabeleland have blamed the marginalisation of the region on what they termed a “skewed governance structure” which they claim disempowered their leaders regardless of their status in the government.

Addressing delegates at a round-table meeting in Bulawayo on Tuesday, representatives from Zanu PF, MDC and Zapu concurred Zimbabwe’s current governance structure promoted marginalisation of the region.

The meeting was organised by Masakhane Trust, a civic society organisation.

Zanu PF central committee member Godfrey Malaba said marginalisation of Matabeleland has, to some extent, been institutionalised to the extent that even the current ministers were powerless to redress it.

“As far as I am concerned, the problems of Matabeleland are political and it all goes back to the time when we got independence in 1980. The differences between Zapu and Zanu made Matabeleland remain behind in terms of development,” Malaba said.

“Even the dispensation of the Unity Accord did not ensure that we develop here in Matabeleland. The Unity Accord of 1987 quickly led to the Economic Structural Adjustment Programme (Esap) in 1992, which closed down factories. After Esap, we had conflicts leading to the formation of the MDC and there was a new leadership in Matabeleland that replaced the old leadership, that went away leaving behind incomplete projects like Nkayi Road. We have ministers here, but the truth is that they are powerless; there is nothing they can do.

“Welshman Ncube (Industry minister) can be the chair of the taskforce on Bulawayo industries, but there is nothing he will do.

“He is so powerless that he cannot even ask his permanent secretary to bring him water. Even speeches are written for him.”

Zapu director of logistics, Khutshwekhaya Nketa, said the political patronage around positions — itself a by-product of the governance structure — meant leaders from the region would not be able to address the problem.

“In this region, we have governors who are appointed and have no budgets whatsoever. Their job is just to read Presidential speeches on Independence and Heroes’ days. That is all they do. Such people cannot be powerful enough to stem marginalisation,” he said.

MDC Bulawayo province spokesperson Edwin Ndlovu said leaders in the region survived on patronage and therefore sang for their supper.

“When our leaders got into government after the 1987 Unity Accord, they also started looting, buying buildings and accumulating wealth to keep up with their counterparts in Mashonaland. Today, it is these leaders who deny that we are underdeveloped. This has led to political patronage. Our leaders have to sing a good song to be retained in those posts,” he said.people cannot be powerful enough to stem marginalisation,” he said.

MDC Bulawayo province spokesperson Edwin Ndlovu said leaders in the region survived on patronage and therefore sang for their supper.

“When our leaders got into government after the 1987 Unity Accord, they also started looting, buying buildings and accumulating wealth to keep up with their counterparts in Mashonaland.

“Today, it is these leaders who deny that we are underdeveloped. This has led to political patronage. Our leaders have to sing a good song to be retained in those posts,” he said.

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