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Ncube calls for devolution

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GWANDA — MDC leader Welshman Ncube has rallied behind civic society groups calling for adoption of a legitimate devolution of power to enable poor regions to spearhead their own development projects without having to rely on central government.

“We need genuine and legitimate devolution to address issues of underdevelopment and this should include elected provincial governors, who have to be accountable to people at a provincial level,” he said.

Addressing a public meeting over the weekend in the Matabeleland South capital, Ncube said the current unitary system of governance had failed and the challenges of underdevelopment, especially in Matabeleland, cannot be addressed under the current inclusive government.

“We are aware of skewed development and these challenges cannot be addressed in this temporary transitional arrangement.

“For now what we can do is to try and put some patches in some of these areas,” he said.

Ncube said although devolution was supported by all parties signatory to the Global Political Agreement, the challenge remains on what kind of devolution will be included in the new constitution as “there are different interpretation of devolution”.

Ncube reiterated the need for a clear devolution framework in terms of power relations, roles and responsibilities of provincial governments, “for them to be effective, efficient and accountable to the electorate”.

Meanwhile, Gwanda residents lamented infrastructure underdevelopment in the area.

They cited lack of progress in fully developing institutions such as the National University of Science and Technology and Lupane State University as examples of how marginalised the region was.

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