Devolution is good for democracy: Dabengwa

Devolution of power is the panacea to Zimbabwe’s political struggles and will ensure regional equality while removing rampant tribalism, Zapu leader, Dumiso Dabengwa, recently said in Harare.


The former Home Affairs Minister and one time senior Zanu (PF) member castigated President Robert Mugabe’s stance against devolution in the constitutional draft.

“The outbursts of Mugabe and the decision of his Politburo that they do not want a constitution with devolution of power is a subversion of citizens’ supreme authority over the State. The President and his Politburo have no authority to impose their views on the issue of devolution because they are not the owners and supreme authority of Zimbabwe,” he said.

“It is only the citizens of Zimbabwe who have that authority to decide, and Zanu (PF) has to abide by their decision,” he added.

During the Copac outreach programme to gather people’s views on what to include in the constitution, six out of the 10 provinces said they wanted devolution.

Dabengwa accused Zanu (PF) of causing divisions in Zimbabwe since 1980, adding that some provinces such as in Matebeleland are still underdeveloped because of ethnic discrimination.

“Since 1980, Zanu (PF) has been pursuing policies based on political and ethnic discrimination and this grossly violates the principle of equal rights,” he said. The former intelligence supremo devolution would promote people’s freedoms and help build a vibrant democratic society which would hasten economic development.

He also said the controversial indigenization programme, purporting to empower citizens through the forced ceding of 51 percent shareholding by foreign-owned businesses, was only benefiting Zanu (PF) loyalists.

Dabengwa broke away from Zanu (PF) in 2008 to join another former Politburo member, Simba Makoni, giving hope that party stalwarts, long accused of living in Mugabe’s shadow and lacking the bravery to challenge him openly, had finally mastered enough courage to usher in a new political dispensation.

They set up Mavambo Kusile Dawn, but it fared badly during the 2008 elections, after which Dabengwa revived the old Zapu. The party is believed to have financial problems that are threatening its viability.

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