Devolution of power misconstrued- Eric Matinenga

Minister of Parliament and Constitutional Affairs Eric Matinenga has shot down elements in government who are confusing people on the subject of devolution to suit their political agenda.

Eric Matinenga
Eric Matinenga

Eric Matinenga was contributing to the public debate held on Thursday in Harare under the theme, “New constitution for Zimbabwe: practical or impossible.”

He said devolution of power was different from secessionist ideologies which the ordinary people are made to believe by other politicians in the country.

“Devolution of power is different from secession, when people are talking about devolution, they are not talking about Matebeleland provinces alone, and we are talking about other provinces like Masvingo and Manicaland,” said Matinenga.

He castigated other politicians who he said are misconstruing devolution to suit their political agenda.

“Devolution is a necessity if we want the whole country to develop, there would be no province which will leg behind and complain about being sidelined. I think this issue of devolution of power should be in our new constitution,” Matinenga added.

The issue of devolution of power has stalled the new draft constitution as Zanu Pf is against the issue.

President Robert Mugabe was recently quoted in the state media saying devolution will weaken the state.

“We don’t want to divide the country into small pieces because it will cause disunity among our people. Those things are done in big countries, not a small country like ours.

“We once had this, under the Federation which included Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and Nyasaland (Malawi). Some are talking about separating Matabeleland region to become a country; that is impossible we don’t want that,” President Mugabe said.

Jonathan Moyo, Zanu Pf politburo member also castigated the issue of devolution of power.

He said: “This debate is senseless because devolution, which is a well-recognised public administration principle and concept of decentralisation, has been falsely morphed into a constitutional issue carrying all the baggage of federalism which has become a dirty word in the Zimbab¬wean constitutional debate.

“The time has come to make it very clear that Zanu PF will not support or be part of any draft constitution that seeks federalism in Zimbabwe under any guise, let alone the cover of devolution. Federalism is not devolution and devolution is not federalism.”

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