POLITICAL parties and civic organisations yesterday attacked Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo’s utterances that President Robert Mugabe’s party does not support devolution of power in the new constitution.
Report by Richard Muponde
Gumbo was quoted outlining his party’s stance in Lupane where he was a guest of honour at the Matabeleland North Zanu PF district inter-party conference.
MDC-T deputy organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe said Zanu PF wanted decentralisation instead of devolution, so that it could perpetuate corruption and the abuse of State funds.
“The reason why Zanu PF ‘destroyed’ the country is because they don’t listen to what people want, but do what their leaders say,” he said.
“They destroyed the economy and the will of the people. We are saying we are going to rejuvenate that by fighting for devolution.
“They want decentralisation where one person decides from a central position that all resources are for example, going to Zvimba at the expense of other regions.
“If it means we are going to fight for devolution then we are going to fight for it.As a person who comes from Matabeleland, I am going to fight for it. It is our trump card.”
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions western region chairman Reason Ngwenya said he was disappointed by Zanu PF’s mindset, saying the party must be fighting to atone for its mistakes.
“As labour, considering the plundering of resources all over the country and their being taken to other regions, especially Harare, leaving locals in poverty, I am disappointed,” he said.
“Decentralisation was always there and has failed.I am very disappointed that in this day and age someone like him (Gumbo) cannot see reason and support devolution of power.”
MDC spokesperson Nhlanhla Dube said Gumbo’s statements betrayed Zanu PF’s innermost fears of letting the people decide their destiny.
Zanu PF opted for decentralisation because it oils their machinery for patronage, which garners them votes alongside violence,” he said. “We are saying a constitution without devolution is not a constitution because it would cement Zanu PF’s centralisation.
“They fear allowing people to make decisions on their own space for their development.”
Zanu PF claims that most Zimbabweans were against devolution during the 2009 outreach on the new constitution.
But its coalition partners — the two MDC formations – have dismissed the claims as unfounded.