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First provincial Minister fires threatening shots at devolution
in Zimbabwe Coalition
September 24, 2013
this article on the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition website
appointment of a new
Cabinet by President Robert Mugabe, there has been much debate
over the introduction of provincial ministers, as analysts feared
the appointments could sabotage constitutional provisions for devolution,
signalling democratic regression.
has been viewed as decentralization from Harare, it could be ironic
that the first warning shots against devolution by a provincial
minister against the local government structures could have been
fired from within the city itself.
to a head this week when Harare Metropolitan Provincial Minister
Miriam Chikukwa said the Movement for Democratic Change party led
by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai (MDC-T) city council
would have to implement the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic
Front (Zanu-PF) manifesto,
sparking fears that she intended to interfere with the work of elected
Crisis in Zimbabwe
Coalition (CiZC) Spokesperson Thabani Nyoni said the Coalition had
always found the criticism and suspicion against the backdoor appointments
legitimate, and quickly pointed that unclear terms of reference
could make the new cabinet officials “super ministers against
devolution”, and to the confusion that the appointments have
have been made thus far to clarify what role Ministers of State
responsible for provincial affairs will be doing,” he said.
“In fact, we have seen directives from central government
to local authorities to slash debts which, while may mean good,
are actually undermining the principle and practice of devolved
Crisis in Zimbabwe
Coalition in its postulations soon after the
July 31 election had warned that the worst case scenario following
Zanu-PF’s return to power could be democratic regression,
meaning reversal of the democratic strides made during the Inclusive
Government some of which are in the new Constitution
such as devolution.
the Secretary of the National
Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO), said
apart from sabotaging devolution the appointment of provincial ministers
could prove to be a costly case of patronage, weighing heavily on
the national coffers.
a significant factor contributing to the unnecessary ballooning
of cabinet and by nexus plundering of tax payers’ money through
what seems to be a culture of rewarding and creating jobs for the
‘boys’,” he said.
Harare Residents Association (CHRA) Programs Officer Tendai
Muchada stated that Chikukwa’s statement to the effect that
Harare City Council should be run in line with Zanu-PF’s election
manifesto should be “condemned with the utmost contempt it
should be run in line with what the ratepayers want, not what the
politburo recommends,” he said.
Muchada apparently pointed to the hypocrisy of Chikukwa’s
Zanu-PF party in pushing the indigenization programme, while the
top leaders at the capital city’s Council had been made to
hire Chinese engineers ahead of many local ones who are unemployed.
really was true to her word, then the top managers at Harare City
Council should not have hired 36 Chinese engineers ahead of our
local expertise,” Muchada said. “It only serves to prove
that they (Zanu-PF) are only good at indicating right while subsequently
by the Crisis Report about his view on the USD 144 million loan
that was reportedly borrowed from China to upgrade Harare’s
water system Zimbabwe
Coalition on Debt and Development’s (Zimcodd)’s
Hopewell Gumbo said it did not comply with participatory borrowing
is not consulting us and there is great danger that we are silently
watching the mortgaging of Zimbabwe's resources,” he said.
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