By Loice Dube
The Law Society of Zimbabwe(LSZ) in partnership with The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum have started engaging in efforts to expedite the process of popularising the Provincial and Metropolitan Councils Bill by drafting the shadow bill as the issue of devolution has since been overdue.
LSZ Policy, Research and Advocacy Manager Ms Anesu Chirisa said, “You reckon that in terms of the Constitution all institutions of government are supposed to perform their Constitutional obligations with diligence without delay, so we thought that the issue of devolution has been outstanding for a while as much as the government is primarily responsible for realignment process, we have taken it upon ourselves to assist and speed up the process in as far as the issue of devolution is concerned.”
Chirisa said as encompassed in the Constitution devolution has been listed among other things as the principle that can get the country to achieve good governance.
NGO Forum Strategic Impact Litigation Specialist Ruwadzano Makumbe said the shadow bill is going to help the process to kick started and all voices are welcome on the deck as the issue of devolution is still a new concept.
“There is a shadow bill already which we are already working with, and this is a working paper which we are hoping that it’s going to get the process started, it gets people talking about the devolution process in Zimbabwe. As we all know devolution is a new concept for Zimabwe and it means that we need all voices on the deck, we need everyone to be involved. So the idea for us is to have consultative meetings to include the general public but also to include civil society, media stakeholders and the government itself in the process,”
“What we are basic general saying on devolution is simply that we are having the central power being given to local authorities and this is very important in terms of administration of these authorities and administration of local provinces and also giving people a chance to make decisions at a local level “she added.
The Provincial Metropolitan Council Bill seeks to set up provincial councils in all the 10 provinces in the country where in each province there is a council which will help in planning and implementing social and economic programmes for the province.
Law Society of Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum have drafted the Bill to provide for the Constitution of Zimbabwe on devolution which is also intended to attend to a host Rural and Urban Councils Act.