Tino Chakanyuka, Senior Reporter
ZAPU candidate for Bulawayo Central National Assembly in the coming harmonised elections Mr Thembelani Maphosa has said devolution of power, which is provided for in the country’s constitution, will spur development in Bulawayo and end the city’s challenges, chief among them ailing industries.
Mr Maphosa, who is also the party’s national secretary for information, publicity and marketing, described himself as a firm believer in devolution. In an interview last week, Mr Maphosa said when voted for, he would lobby the Government to fully implement the devolution provision in the constitution.
He said if fully implemented, devolution will drive development in different parts of the country as it would allow local people to appropriate their local resources in a manner that serves their specific interests.
“Part of my agenda is making devolution happen as provided for in the Zimbabwean constitution that we adopted in 2013.
The all-important clause has not been implemented due to absence of political will from the current legislators, yet it is the only viable way out of our current national problems. Our development as a nation will be charted by devolution of power,” he said.
Added Mr Maphosa, “First is nation building through devolved governance system. Devolution, unlike the current centralist Government is the only system that speaks to and ensures equality and dignity to all citizens of this country.”
Mr Maphosa said his first port of call after being elected would be convening a constituency conference where a Constituency Development Policy for Bulawayo Central will be formulated.
“This policy will be our developmental template that should outlive any elected officials, into which would-be elected officials must be able to fit and work for the development agenda of our constituency. This policy will have all our priorities and strategies for development, with agreed time frames for both delivery and review,” he said.
Mr Maphosa said through this policy he seeks to bring in a new era of accountable and ever present representation for Bulawayo Central constituency to oblige parties to observe the agreed time frames for engagement, further strategising and reporting back.
He said when elected, he would also push for the legislation of an Employment Equity law for the benefit of youths unemployed in Bulawayo.
Mr Maphosa the Employment Equity will regulate the manner in which employment opportunities are availed in areas where economic or business activities take place.
“I would advocate for a 70/ 30 percent allocation of labour and skills between locals and outsiders respectively. Also the 30 percent should be strictly for skills and specialist services on a training basis.
“The law must be able to incentivise observation of this allocation through tax breaks while penalising those that violate the law. This will solve problems of unemployment and unfairness in employment opportunities as currently is the norm,” he said.
He said as a firm believer in devolution, he would also push to legislate for retention of locally generated revenues for local development.