Devolution should address past wrongs- Effie Ncube


Devolution, which is currently a born of contention in the current constitution making process, should address past wrongs in order to dispel fears of recurrence of disproportionate distribution of resources and successive serious human rights violations. This was said by the Director of the Matabeleland Constitutional Reform Agenda (MACRA) during a 'Meet the people Forum' organised by Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition and Bulawayo Agenda in Bulawayo last week.

'As civil society organisations we want a constitution that will address what happened in the past (Gukurahundi) in order to ensure that there is prevalence of the rule of law, equal access to resources and separation of powers,' said Mr. Ncube. Responding to concerns raised on the calls by ZANU PF for the Human Rights Commission Bill to disregard human rights violations perpetrated before 2008, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Legislator for Hwange Central, Mr. Brian Tshuma stated that Parliamentarians would push for the investigation of all human rights violations committed since independence.

At the same meeting, participants highlighted the need for the inclusion of administrative, political and fiscal devolution of powers from national to provincial government in the new constitution. Updating participants at  the meeting, Honourable Tshuma said that the issue of devolution had been parked due to disagreements among the political parties in COPAC.

'While it is agreed that there is need for devolution, political parties disagree on the design. The ZANU PF position is that the Members of Parliament and Governor should sit as a council while the two Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formations agree that there should be five provinces which will hold provincial cabinet meetings, a position which is influenced by the South African model. The compromise proposal which we are yet to agree on will consist of a provincial assembly made up of MPs and chairpersons of local councils. The assembly will sit as an electoral college to elect a governor. '

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