A study into the country’s devolution program has concluded that the ruling ZANU PF party is afraid of truly devolving power as this may give the opposition more power.
The briefing paper, titled Devolution in Zimbabwe, states that from its research “devolution provided for in Zimbabwe’s new Constitution is not yet being implemented, but that the ‘old’ administrative structures still dominate”.
ZANU is Afraid of Devolution
“Different stakeholders revealed the difficulty of realising devolution and citizen participation without subsidiary legislation to implement the provisions of the Constitution.
A summary conclusion by the researchers is that the issue at stake is that the ZANU PF government currently has no agenda to implement devolution as provided for in the Constitution.
“Although there is talk of promulgating devolution-enabling legislation, there appears to be no urgency to do so.
“The government seems to fear the loss of power that would result from true devolution and that devolution might give political space to opposition and regional movements”, it says.
Devolution Bill Has Weaknesses
Though commending the Ministry of Local Government of coming up with a draft Bill on local authorities in 2014 to align the governance of local authorities with the Constitution, it raised some issues.
“The Bill has serious weaknesses.
“For instance, the Bill allows the Minister of Local Government to retain the excessive control that post currently exercises over the affairs of provincial and local authorities.
Moreover, the Bill has no provision for cooperation and coordination between local authorities and provincial and metropolitan councils, as required by section 266 of the Constitution.
“Actually, provincial councils are not mentioned at all in the Bill.
Also, there is no provision in the Bill for the equitable allocation of revenue between provincial and local tiers of government, which section 301 of the Constitution states must be provided for in an Act of Parliament” it added.
Government has lately come under fire after revelations that it has already begun disbursing revolution funds yet the structures for that not yet in place.
The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) has since taken it to court.