BULAWAYO – Former Speaker of the National Assembly Lovemore Moyo has said he has now put behind him the trauma of the just-ended election where his party the United Movement for Devolution (UMD) was thoroughly trounced.
Moyo did not throw his hat in the presidential ring but opted to have his members contest parliamentary and local government seats, and all lost.
Speaking to journalists for the first time after the election disaster for his party, Moyo — who quit the MDC where he was national chairperson to launch the UMD after sharp differences over the formation of the MDC Alliance and the subsequent leadership dispute ignited by the death of Morgan Tsvangirai — said his party defeat does not mean the end of their resolve.
“We want to be active in the governance of our country,” Moyo said.
“We will not be just bystanders. We will be politically active, pushing for real devolution. We want real devolution and so, ideologically, we are devolutionaries.”
Having been formed in April this year, UMD managed to stage election campaigns in the region with their major focus being ending the marginalisation of Matabeleland.
Moyo said they will continue from where they left in as far as sending their devolution message across.
“That is going to be our thrust and our message as we move forward in preparing ourselves for the future,” he said.
This comes at a time President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa has said his government will implement devolution of power in line with Chapter 14 of the Constitution.
The concept had largely been ignored by the former president Robert Mugabe in a move that saw civic society and opposition parties taking him to task.
While Moyo acknowledged the move by Mnangagwa, he said UMD believed without executive authority, token devolved power will be insufficient, and will not deliver real change to provinces.
“To UMD, real devolution means having an elected governor, provincial minister or premier directly elected by the people to allow that leader to have executive authority on many other responsibilities at that provincial level.
“We want elected mayors with executive authority not the ones that are compromised by their party political affiliations.”