via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Welshman Ncube’s MDC blasts Zanu-PF over devolution 09 September 2014
MDC led by Welshman Ncube has condemned the apparent unwillingness by the ruling Zanu-PF to set up provincial councils as required by the new Constitution saying it was a ploy to prevent devolution.
MDC Matabeleland South provincial chairperson Pilate Ndebele said Zanu-PF’s silence on the establishment of the 10 provincial councils was not only worrying for his party, but for all people who contributed during the outreach programme.
The new Constitution that was adopted just before last year’s elections provides for devolution through provincial councils.
Members of provincial councils are chosen through proportional representation.
“Zanu-PF agreed over the issue of devolution of power before elections because people ensured that it was part of our new governing charter,” Ndebele said.
“Devolution can only be possible if the provincial councils are implemented, but it is sad that since Zanu-PF won the elections, it has remained mum over the issue and if people ignore it, the policy will never be implemented.”
Ndebele said Zanu-PF must explain what is hindering the establishment of provincial councils.
“If these councils had been in place from the beginning, they might have been working with senators and other local leaders to develop their localities as well as discussing local policy issues to be channelled to the national leadership for actioning,” he said.
“If the Zanu-PF government is facing resource problems to set up provincial councils, it must tell the people who voted for it.
“We want Zanu-PF to be responsible because if we just ignore it neglecting policies wanted by the people, next time it will do so to the Senate and National Assembly knowing that people normally do not complain.”
Earlier this year, Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa said it would take a while before provincial councils were set up due to economic challenges bedevilling the country.
Mnangagwa said the Constitution provides for an Act of Parliament to be passed to make provision for the establishment and operation of local councils, but he said the government was constrained by economic problems.
He said once Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo was done with crafting regulations and structuring of local government councils, the Bill would then be tabled in Parliament.