HomeNewsMayor bemoans govt’s resistance to devolution

Mayor bemoans govt’s resistance to devolution

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BULAWAYO mayor, Martin Moyo, has blamed poor service delivery at most local authorities on government’s refusal to implement devolution of power to enable councils to administer their own affairs.

By NQOBANI NDLOVU

Moyo, who recently visited devolved local authorities in Kenya together with top officials from the Local Government ministry, civil society organisations and rural district councils, said Zimbabwe stood to accrue more benefits from a devolved governance system.

“Devolution is not an end in itself. In Kenya, the benefits have been phenomenal, far reaching and widespread.

Rural counties have done more than 2 000 kilometre of road and a good part of these being super highways,” he said.

“Bulawayo has about that much of road. Imagine having refurbished and rehabilitated all our roads. They have built well-equipped schools and hospitals.

“The money being invested in both infrastructure and equipment is what we can only dream of. Everywhere we went, people spoke well about devolution and they confidently attribute all their success and wealth to devolution.”

Kenya adopted a new Constitution in 2010, which among others, provides for devolution of power.

“The aura is that of general satisfaction and happiness. They are overtaking us in literacy rates and they boast more and more doctors and professors. Devolution is the greatest good that has happened in Kenya,” Moyo said.

He blamed the government’s lack of political will for stalling the implementation of devolution despite it being provided for in the Constitution.

“My view is that we pay lip-service to devolution. We have not put in place structures to ensure devolution happens. We do not have legal instruments to devolve. We are not even thinking about it,” he said.

“There are some of us who believe devolution will be achieved by a mere alignment of the acts, or that devolution is something that can happen within a particular ministry.

“Devolution cannot be given in portions like medicine. Devolution is a whole system of governance.”

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