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Devolution impasse still unresolved

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The Constitutional Parliamentary Select Committee (Copac) it yet to resolve the stalemate over provisions for devolution of power in the new constitution, it was revealed yesterday.

Copac co-chairperson Douglas Mwonzora (MDC-T) said the three parties in the inclusive government were struggling to find a common position on the system of governance rejected by Zanu PF.

“The management committee has failed to reach a resolution on devolution of power so far,” he said.
“There is still only the resolution that there should be devolution in the new constitution.

“But we still haven’t reached a resolution on the structure of the devolved government.

“I am, however, hopeful that maybe in the next two weeks we will reach a resolution and move forward.

“I am saying in the next two weeks because that is when we would have the management committee reconvening after the Sadc Troika meeting (in Luanda, Angola today).”

Mwonzora said moves by Zanu PF to submit a document that called for the exclusion of devolution of power altogether from the constitution had complicated the situation.

“Zanu PF has brought a 29-page document which seeks to change a lot of issues already agreed on in the process,” he said.

“The party, through the document, seeks to remove devolution of power altogether.”
But he maintained that Copac would not bow down to Zanu PF pressure on devolution.

“It was mostly supported in Manicaland. Matabeleland, Masvingo, Midlands and Harare also came out in full support of devolution of power,” he said.

“Provincial governments were supported in 10 of the 10 provinces by over 82% of the participants in the outreach programmes,” he said. Edward Mkhosi, the MDC Copac co-chairperson, said the disagreements could derail the constitution-making process.

“Others still want decentralisation, but we are still standing for devolution of power,” he said.

“We have to be clear on this: if there is no devolution of power, then there is no constitution.
“In our demand for devolution of power, we are being fair because if you look at the outreach papers, six provinces said they want devolution of power.”

Zanu PF’s Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana refused to comment saying he was “in a meeting”.
The Zanu PF politburo rejected devolution of power saying it was divisive.

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