Dabengwa ditches Chamisa, endorses Mnangagwa?

 Dabengwa ditches Chamisa, endorses Mnangagwa?
Published: 21 September 2018
ZAPU president Dr Dumiso Dabengwa has endorsed President Emmerson Mnangagwa and called on Zimbabweans to accept his Government which he said was on the right path by implementing devolution.

The Government is working on a raft of measures towards the full implementation of devolution in accordance with the Constitution.

Addressing journalists at the Bulawayo Press Club on Wednesday evening, Dr Dabengwa said Zimbabweans should be realistic with the country's political developments and accept that Zanu-PF won the July 30 harmonised elections.

The Zapu president did not contest the elections as he publicly backed MDC-Alliance presidential candidate Mr Nelson Chamisa who lost to President Mnangagwa.

"I'm a realist and being realist, I believe that we have a Government with us today whether you like it or not. The current Zanu-PF Government is unlikely to change until 2023," said Dr Dabengwa.

"In 2023 that is when the country will go for another harmonised election as per the country's electoral cycle."

He said Zapu was happy that Government made strong indications that it will implement devolution of power. His party has been advocating for devolution of power since the crafting of the 2013 Constitution, which mandates Government to devolve power.

"I think for now what is important is to accept the gesture by Government on getting the Bill on devolution being tabled in Parliament. They (Zanu-PF Government) have come up with an idea of dealing with an (devolution of power) issue which they consider is in the hearts of most of the people in the region and they have decided to bring it forward and get it debated," said Dr Dabengwa.

He said instead of making ill-informed pronouncements on how the Government is to implement devolution of power, Zimbabweans should wait until the Bill is brought before Parliament.

"The debates on various issues like allocation of resources, the amounts of monies that are going to be allocated to the provinces, these issues are still going to be debated. The Bill is going to come up with suggestions on how Government intends to do it," Dr Dabengwa said.

The Bill will be brought before the people for consultations before being finalised and tabled in Parliament. Dr Dabengwa, however, said it would not be easy for Government to satisfy all voices in the implementation of devolution as various groups have their ideal expectation of how Chapter 2 and 14 of the Constitution should be implemented.

"What is important is that Zapu wants to accept the challenge to have the Bill drafted and to be able to put its views in a very honest way on how we expect this devolution exercise to take place," he said.

The Government has said it will introduce a raft of measures that will see the State funding budgets for respective provinces and identifying previously marginalised areas that need special attention as it moves to implement devolution.

Devolution is captured in two chapters of the constitution namely Chapter 2 which deals with the political arrangements and Chapter 14 which deals with the financial provisions. Speaking ahead of the July 30 harmonised elections that the ruling Zanu-PF won resoundingly, President Mnangagwa said after the polls, the Second Republic would implement devolution as part of the constitutional provisions.

In an interview in Bulawayo last Friday, the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, July Moyo, said on the political side, people had already been elected for positions in provincial councils and what was left was to amend the old Provincial Councils and Administration Act. He said the amendment would then bring into effect the council, its membership and their duties.

"It is there where we will spell out how the political mechanisms of devolution will be fleshed out and I cannot be specific now as I have to pilot this through Cabinet and then to Parliament," said Moyo.

He said the Government would also address three critical financial issues to kick start devolution. "The first one is the capital budgets that must be given to all Provincial Councils as well as the 92 local authorities so that we can look after your roads, sewerage and water and Central Government has to assist in this endeavour.

"The second aspect is we are looking at marginalised areas and by marginalisation we think that where services have lagged behind whether those services are schools or clinics or those services are electricity or sewerage, again the Government is called upon in the Constitution to make sure that monies are voted for by Parliament through Government, through the Ministry of Finance so that we can uplift the standards of living of our people," said Moyo.

"The third aspect of the financial provisions requires that Central Government every year puts aside five percent in the national budget so that it can be distributed to Provincial Councils and local authorities so that we can again assist the whole of Zimbabwe to be uplifted. In the broad sense, that's how we are going to implement devolution."
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