Source: Devolution: Zim remains unitary State | The Herald July 9, 2018
Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe will remain a unitary State, while the devolution being implemented by Government seeks to achieve fair and balanced development spearheaded by provincial councils which must initiate economic programmes for their respective provinces, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga has said.
This is in sync with Section (2) of the country’s Constitution under which central Government should allow provincial councils to set local development priorities.
The move is also in line with the new republic envisaged by President Mnangagwa, which puts the economy ahead of politics.
Addressing zanu-pf supporters at a rally in Kuwadzana, Harare, yesterday, VP Chiwenga said provinces should compete to contribute to the national GDP.
“When we crafted the Constitution, people spoke about devolution (saying) we want provinces to be independent,” he said.
“We say no, Zimbabwe is a unitary State. From Victoria Falls to Chipinge, from Dande to Sango Border Post, from Beitbridge to Mutare, from Beitbridge to Nyamapanda, from Plumtree to Mutare we are all one Zimbabwe. It cannot be separated. We may have different cultures, but we are one country,” VP Chiwenga said.
“What we mean by giving power to the people is the issue of provincial councils. These are elected in provinces, and in big cities like Harare and Bulawayo they will be led by provincial ministers. They are no longer ministers for sloganeering, but they should champion economic development first, pamberi neeconomy nekuvaka nyika,” he said.
“The job now is to see what is needed here in Harare. What factories should be there in Harare? Central Government will oversee economic programmes of each province; like here in Harare we are saying it is for high tech and technology, Bulawayo will be the industrial hub and Midlands will focus on iron and steel.
“Part of the money generated by the provinces will be used to address local challenges in the city before it is taken to central Government. That is the development that we want. That is the devolution of power to the lowest level we are talking about. Each province will be competing to contribute to the Gross Domestic Product of the central Government while developing their provinces.”
VP Chiwenga said the economy could not be resuscitated through sloganeering, but sound policies that attract investment.
He said President Mnangagwa’s administration had opened Zimbabwe up for business and was addressing all impediments to business operations.
In doing so, VP Chiwenga said, the new dispensation would not brook corruption at any level of society.
On informal settlements and deterioration of service delivery in towns, VP Chiwenga said Government was working on a comprehensive master plan to address the issue.
He said no one would be displaced without alternative accommodation.
VP Chiwenga blamed the MDC-T run councils for running down cities and urged people to vote them out on July 30.
He said Government had taken over the refurbishment of roads in towns following the dismal failure by MDC-T councillors.
“We want peace and unity. We want to work together and engage all those whom we had sour relations with. This will help us to attract skills and those who want to open industries here. In doing so, we will also open closed companies to create employment for our graduates.”
VP Chiwenga addressed other issues such as health and education where he intimated that the new dispensation led by President Mnangagwa had scrapped maternity fees and that no child should be sent home for failing to pay fees.
He said blood in public hospitals was now free.