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Devolution agreement dismissed

By Bhekizulu Tshuma

LEADERS in Matabeleland region have dismissed as a nullity the compromise agreement reached by parties in the inclusive government on devolution power.

Reports indicate that Zanu-PF and two MDC formations have agreed that the country’s 10 provinces will each have a provincial assembly made up of Members of Parliament and Senators from that area, representatives of local authorities and 10 individuals elected through proportional representation as well as a provincial governor.

It is also reported that the provincial assembly will nominate two possible candidates for governor which they will forward to the President who will choose from the two.

“Its a total disaster, the MDCs have put our governance system into a disaster. I don't know what they are intending to do or what they seek to achieve. But if you go back to the draft constitution of 2000, the MDCs will emerged an embarrassed lot because the draft was far far better that what they are proposing now,” said Dumisani Mpofu from Masakhane Trust, a civic society organisation.

Mpofu said the fact that the governor shall be elected by the President kills the entire notion of devolution saying their desired devolution was to have the provincial assembly directly elected by the people.

“We say it is very unfortunate because the structure that they are proposing for the provincial assembly is a similar structure that we have currently have ... which we call a the provincial council which is headed by the governorand members of that council are supposed to be MPs but that structure is not working,” he said.

Edwin Ndlovu Bulawayo spokesperson for the MDC led by Professor Welshman Ncube accused Zanu-PF and MDC-T of conniving against the wishes of the people.

He said: “That is a nullity, its null and void because its not the devolution of power which the people of Zimbabwe want, its not devolution of power which people of Zimbabwe spoke about during the out reach process.