Government has finally approved the Provincial Metropolitan Council Bill in fulfillment of the High Court order set in September last year.
The Bill seeks to provide for the corporate status of provincial and metropolitan councils in line with the devolution agenda.
In September 2020 the High Court gave Ministers Mthuli Ncube, July Moyo and Ziyambi Ziyambi until 31 March to have implemented the order to allow for devolution as provided for by Section 270(2) of the Constitution.
However government dithered from then till recently when it was announced on Tuesday during a post-Cabinet briefing that the Bill had been approved.
Addressing journalists, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said Cabinet had considered and approved the proposed law.
“Cabinet was informed that the current Provincial Councils and Administration Act (Chapter 29:11) should be amended to align with the Constitution.
“Chapter 14 of the Constitution provides for matters to do with the creation of Provincial and Metropolitan Councils in line with the principles of devolution.
“The Constitution further provides for the financial matters in relation to the devolution of power in Chapter 17 of the Constitution,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
She added that some of the major highlights of the Bill are providing for the repealing of the Provincial Councils and Administration Act (Chapter 29:11) and substituting it with Provincial and Metropolitan Councils Act.
It will also provide for the corporate status of councils and procedure for alteration of provinces, give direction for the procedure to be followed in altering boundaries of provinces and districts in consultation with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and the people in the Provinces and Districts concerned.
Some critics have accused central government of failing to properly set-up the devolution structures resulting in the disbursement of funds when there are no structures.
However Local Government Minister July Moyo has previously defended government’s position and accused critics of ignorance.