Hwange MP Brian Tshuma (MDC-T) last Friday drew the ire of civic society and MDC leaders when he claimed the Constitutional Parliamentary Select Committee (Copac)’s technical committee had agreed on a compromise position on devolution of power that would see legislators and councillors from provinces elect a governor and form a provincial council.
Addressing a public meeting on devolution of power organised by Bulawayo Agenda last Friday, Tshuma, who is a member of the Copac committee, said the compromise was meant to close the rift between the two MDCs and Zanu PF over devolution of power.
“What is happening in Copac over the issue is that, all the three parties are agreed to the principle of devolution. We disagree on what kind of devolution we want,” he said.
Tshuma said Zanu PF is clear that it wants the 10 provinces maintained with the local authorities sitting with an appointed governor as provincial councils.
“The two MDCs have said let’s take the South African model, with a governor directly elected by the people,” he said.
“As a result, the management committee tasked the technical committee to design a compromise model,” he said.
But MDC organising secretary Qhubani Moyo dismissed the proposal as “an MDC-T position on the issue of devolution”.
“Our technical committee team has not compromised on devolution. In the absence of real devolution of power, there is nothing new in the said draft, it is just as good as the constitution we have now.
“If Zanu PF thinks they are the only ones capable of drawing battle lines, then they must think again. We want a constitution with devolution. There should be no time where they (Copac) will say here is a draft without any devolution of power,” he said.
A civic society representative, Effie Ncube, said it was the position of civic society across the country that Zimbabwe must have devolution of power in the constitution.
“That should be devolution of power with substance and meaning,” he said.
“Zimbabwe cannot be allowed to be solidified, through a new constitution, into a Zimbabwe characterised by the marginalisation of other people.”