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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • Fear grips Matabeleland as Zanu PF win elections
    Habakkuk Trust
    August 02, 2013

    People of Matabeleland from across the cross section of society have expressed grave concerns that devolution of power may come to an early extinction following Zanu-PF’s overwhelming win in the just ended harmonized elections.

    Speaking to Habakkuk Trust information department, church and civic society leaders from the region expressed fear that since Zanu-PF have in the past openly said that they do not want devolution of power, their winning two thirds majority of National Assembly seats may mean an abrupt end to devolution of power.

    Mr Effie Lungisani Ncube the Director of Matabeleland Constitutional Reform Agenda and NANGO National Chairperson lamented this harsh reality saying, ‘It’s likely that devolution will be ignored given that MDC made devolution its rallying point and thus Zanu-PF may argue that the MDC loss was a sign that people are not for devolution of power.”

    His sentiments were echoed by the Shalom Project Director, Pastor Anglistone Sibanda who said, “We are really concerned because the Zanu-PF win means a loss and death of devolution.” He further explained that since Zanu-PF have been against devolution; we may see them using their two thirds majority in parliament to delete every clause relating to devolution in the new constitution.

    Ms Patricia Tshabalala an award winning human and children’s rights activist from Bulawayo lamented what she termed ‘an early bye-bye to devolution’ considering that Zanu-PF have always been against the concept. She however, called for civic society, the church and other stakeholders to unite and adopt affirmative action measures that will ensure that the constitutional provisions on devolution are neither amended nor ignored.

    Speaking on the same issue renowned legal and constitutional expert Mr Matshobana Ncube concurred with others that there is a high chance the devolution may be obliterated from the country’s supreme law. He however, pointed that there are chances that ‘since Matabeleland, Manicaland, Masvingo and Manicaland were for devolution and Zanu-PF has won, the party may want to pay back to these provinces’ but ‘with flimsy devolution clauses’. He further lamented that the greatest problem facing the region is not Zanu-PF but the elected representatives that may not be able to stand their ground on devolution. Ncube said it is necessary ‘for CSOs to engage both MDC-T and Zanu-PF legislators on devolution and conscientize them on the importance of upholding the concept.’

    Educationist Mr BL Moyo from Bulawayo lamented that, “Devolution is linked to language rights, education and culture. My fear is that all the language and education rights we have gained in the few years may be lost and we get a Zanunized syllabus and minority languages may never be recognized.”

    All these sentiments were also concurred by Habakkuk Trust Chief Executive Officer and political analyst Mr Dumisani Nkono who though appreciating the reality of Zanu-PF using its majority in parliament to delete or ignore devolution realized that, “Zanu-PF is not a homogeneous unit and thus there are still opportunities to engage some individuals within Zanu-PF to protect and promote the concept though it may be difficult.”

    Youth leader and Director of INTSCHA Mr Godwin Phiri shared the above concerns saying that the major problem now is that, “Devolution is now in the hands of people who are declared enemies of the concept and who have openly said that given a chance they will remove it from the constitution.”

    Quote of the day

    “It’s sad that the people of Zimbabwe decided to choose a sweet instead of the farm that produces sugar cane which is used for making sweets” Pastor Anglistone Sibanda – Shalom Project Director

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