Do away with appointed governors

The recent move by the governor of Masvingo to ban 29 NGOs has brought to the fore the contentious issue of appointed governors. Titus Maluleke’s move has illuminated the abuse of power by governors and revived demands that the new constitution must ensure they are elected and not appointed.

Cain Mathema
Cain Mathema

Proponents of elected governors allege that appointed governors do not represent the people.

Their allegiance is to the President, and the political party, that put them in office. The move by Maluleke, which has no legal backing or legislative precedent, is the act of an overzealous party appointee trying to fulfill the wishes expressed by ZANU (PF) at its last conference

Unfortunately for the people of Masvingo province, the organizations “banned” by Maluleke are humanitarian agencies that have been providing food and other humanitarian aid to one of the country’s driest regions.

Also it has to be pointed out that a governor appointed by the President of a centralized state like Zimbabwe will often be divorced from the experiences and concerns of local communities.

At the height of the economic depression of the past decade, Governor of Bulawayo, Cain Mathema, against the wishes of the residents of and blind to the failure of ZINWA, was calling for the takeover of water supply and management by the national body already proven inefficient by a cholera outbreak.

The governors of the two major cities in particular have hampered democratic development. Their administration lacks the legitimacy and credibility pf public officials who are in office via popular election. Staunch party supporters who unsuccessfully attempt to be elected into office are often brought back into the fray as Governors.

Mathema was overwhelmingly rejected by the people of Tsholotsho during the plebiscite of 2000 – yet he was imposed on the people of Bulawayo as the resident governor. The schoolboy bully manner in which governors are appointed has alienated them from the people. [email protected]

Post published in: Opinions & Analysis

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