OPPOSITION parties have claimed President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration is a threat to devolution of power and are calling on citizens to fight for decentralisation.
BY SHARON SIBINDI/ALEXIS SIBANDA
Speaking at a dialogue meeting organised by the Public Policy Research Institute Alliance for National Salvation leader, Moses Mzila-Ndlovu said people should stand up and fight for devolution.
“What I can say is that the current administration is not any different and cannot be any different from [deposed leader Robert] Mugabe’s administration. For me, the bridge is Zanu PF. It is not important whether it is Mnangagwa or Mugabe, what is important is that we managed, as opposition then, to squeeze in a clause on devolution and simple put devolution as power, which goes to the provinces and districts, the power to rule ourselves,” he said.
“Now, this is an important clause even in its diluted form because it says ‘let the local person take advantage of opportunities or let the best person take advantage of opportunities’.”
The dialogue meeting was held under the theme Is Devolution Under Threat from Mnangagwa Administration?
Mzila-Ndlovu said under devolution, they want local people to take advantage of available opportunities and resources.
“You are saying the local person must decide and currently the local person cannot do that and that is why you find in Matabeleland and Midlands, specifically the local person has no say, you have no power, you have been emasculated. Zanu PF has been in power since 2013 and this clause came in effectively in 2012 and we know the attitude of Robert Mugabe towards devolution.”
Mzila-Ndlovu said Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, who threatened to scrap-off devolution after the 2018 polls, refused to fund it.
“Funding of the provincial and metropolitan structures, as set out in Chapter 14, section 264 of the Constitution, is not sustainable and political parties represented in Parliament should in the future give consideration to amending the Constitution to lessen the burden on the fiscus,” Chinamasa announced during the 2018 national budget presentation.
He said devolution is under threat, as Zanu PF can push for an amendment of the clause using its majority in Parliament.
Mzila-Ndlovu said it is not possible for Mnangagwa to reverse that without consequences for his party.
“This is because he is one of the architects of Zanu PF, he built Zanu PF into what it is. He can’t give devolution a chance because he is a prisoner of his own party, which he built. Devolution will reverse that which they have been fighting to do in this country, the marginalisation of Matabeleland was not an error, it was deliberate,” Mzila Ndlovu said.
National People’s Party vice-president, Samuel Sipepa Nkomo admitted that devolution is under threat from Mnangagwa’s administration, as they alleged it would be expensive.
Mthwakazi Republic Party president, Mqondisi Moyo said people of Matabeleland and Midlands have failed to tell themselves that the time to implement devolution of power is now.
“If we wait for Harare to tell us, they will never tell us. As a result of that: ‘I urged the people to stand up and see that the resources that are in the country are from Matabeleland’. For example, Beitbridge Border Post brings in more than $2 million dollars a day and this was said by former Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko before they kicked him out,” he said.