NTABAZINDUNA chief Felix Ndiweni has challenged the people of Bulawayo to elect a government that will prioritise the devolution of Matabeleland and facilitate the resuscitation of industries in Bulawayo as the country heads for harmonised elections on July 30.
BY SILAS NKALA
Many young people in Bulawayo have flocked to South Africa and Botswana in search of greener pastures, something that Ndiweni said would only be reversed if the new government prioritised employment creation.
Ndiweni, who was addressing a Mthwakazi Republic Party campaign rally at Stanley Square in Bulawayo at the weekend, claimed that Bulawayo would remain a backwater without devolution.
“Your children will not get employment and education. You will become second-class citizens,” he said.
He claimed the only solution was to restore traditional kingship in the country’s urban areas, just like in Botswana, Swaziland, Ghana and Nigeria.
“The only way to stop it is to bring in kings and to have traditional leaders in urban circles. I am not talking about something new. Go to Botswana, go to Swaziland, go to Ghana, go to Nigeria and many other countries in Africa. They have taken the courage to say we are African people. Even in the urban areas, we are African people and we are proud of ourselves,” he said.
Ndiweni said they did not want “fake devolution” in Bulawayo and challenged residents to ensure that that end was realised.
“Devolution means Bulawayo must have kings. You will have a councillor, a Member of Parliament, you will have a mayor (after the elections), but where are the kings?”
Ndiweni said things had changed and those who lead the people must account for whatever they would have acquired.
“Those who get into office on July 30 must know that some of us will not leave them. We will ask them where did they get the money they used to buy drinks and the cars they are driving. We will ask them where are the jobs? Who are they working for? Where are the schools?” he said.
He said his desire and that of many people in the region was to have the situation in the country corrected so that their children scattered in the diaspora would return.
“Our children are far away in foreign lands because of chaos, because of bad treatment, we want to change that and have them back to get jobs in Bulawayo so that we are families and be proud,” he said.
Ndiweni noted that unless the situation was addressed, the young people who sacrificed their lives for the country’s liberation in the region would have died in vain as they fought for the betterment of their children and that of the country’s citizens.
Addressing a Zanu PF rally at Phelandaba Stadium in Gwanda last month, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said his government was working on a second republic in which constitutional provisions to devolve power to provincial levels will become reality soon after this month’s harmonised elections.
MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa has also pledged to ensure that there was devolution of power as that constituted a part of his party’s policy.
Under a devolved state, each province would have its own economic development plan underpinned by resources found in that province.
Economic plans would be crafted by provincial councils led by provincial ministers, whose role should also be development-oriented.