New Zimbabwe.com

Pressure group wants devolution now

By Tonderai Saharo

The Zimbabwe Christian Alliance (ZCA) has petitioned Parliament to speed up the implementation of the devolution process as it was an expression of the will of Zimbabweans as enshrined in the
Constitution.

ZCA is a community based faith network of Christians that are involved in peace building and advocacy initiatives.
Over 6000 Masvingo residents including Mayor Collen Maboke have since signed the petition which is expected to be handed to the Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda once all provinces have been consulted.

The Christian movement has so far obtained signatures in people from Matebeleland provinces, Masvingo, Midlands with Manicaland up next.

Government has allocated US$310 million towards devolution process. Masvingo has received its share of US$33 million which will be shared among nine local authorities in the province.

ZCA board member, Jonah Gokova said the petition seeks to force government to uphold the Constitution as an expression of the will of the country’s citizens.

He said the petition was to ensure there is accountability and that government meets its commitments to the policy.
“The government needs pressure to implement what people said during the Constitution making process. Local people want to have a say and see how their local resources are benefiting their communities, we are using the church as the bases for local Christians to participate in local programs.

“We want government to expedite and make laws that give powers of local governance to the people and enhance their participation in making decisions affecting them,” Gokova said.

According to the petition the ZCA said government should protect, promote the values of devolution and ensure there is decentralisation of government powers and functions.

It also called upon government to transfer responsibilities and resources from national government in order to establish a sound financial base for each provincial, metropolitan and local authority.
The petition also seeks to make government expedite and make laws that recognize the right of communities to manage their own affairs and further their own development initiatives.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has committed to implementing devolution as espoused by the country’s governance Charter unlike his predecessor former President Robert Mugabe who reports said was working towards amending the Constitution to avoid devolution.