The new constitution brought with it a new concept in local governance which is supposed to speed and spread development.
We have here reproduced important factors around the concept of devolution using a write-up by the Zimbabwe Legal Information Institute (ZIMLII).
This information will answer most of the questions surrounding the much-talked about but still vague issue of devolution.
Devolution policy under the new Constitution
Section 264 of the new Constitution sets out the broad policies relating to the devolution of government powers and responsibilities.
264 Devolution of governmental powers and responsibilities
(1) Whenever appropriate, governmental powers and responsibilities must be devolved to provincial and metropolitan councils and local authorities which are competent to carry out
those responsibilities efficiently and effectively.
(2) The objectives of the devolution of governmental powers and responsibilities to provincial and metropolitan councils and local authorities are—
(a) to give powers of local governance to the people and enhance their participation in the exercise of the powers of the State and in making decisions affecting them;
(b) to promote democratic, effective, transparent, accountable and coherent government in Zimbabwe as a whole;
(c) to preserve and foster the peace, national unity and indivisibility of Zimbabwe.
General principles of provincial and local governance
Section 265 of the new Constitution provides some general principles of provincial and local governance.
265 General principles of provincial and local government
(1) Provincial and metropolitan councils and local authorities must, withintheir spheres—
(a) ensure good governance by being effective, transparent, accountable and institutionally coherent;
(b) assume only those functions conferred on them by this Constitution oran Act of Parliament;
(c) exercise their functions in a manner that does not encroach on thegeographical, functional or institutional integrity of another tier ofgovernment;
(d) co-operate with one another, in particular by—
(i) informing one another of, and consulting one another on, mattersof common interest;
(ii) harmonising and co-ordinating their activities;
(e) preserve the peace, national unity and indivisibility of Zimbabwe;
(f) secure the public welfare; and
(g) ensure the fair and equitable representation of people within their areas of jurisdiction.
(2)All members of local authorities must be elected by registered voters withinthe areas for which the local authorities are established.
(3)An Act of Parliament must provide appropriate mechanisms and procedures to facilitate co-ordination between central government, provincial and metropolitan councils and local authorities.