Big Boost for Devolution. . . As Zanu-PF Mulls Changes to Constitution

By Farirai Machivenyika

Zanu-PF has proposed amendments to the national Constitution to streamline the functions of Provincial Councils as part of wider efforts to effectively implement devolution of powers from Central Government.

This is contained in the resolutions adopted at the end of the ruling party’s 17th Annual National People’s Conference held in Esigodini, Matabeleland South Province, last week.

The amendments seek to stop members of Parliament from being part of Provincial Councils and instead to exercise an oversight role over their operations.

“It is proposed that Provincial Councils be constituted only by elected councillors and their chairpersons and mayors of urban councils.

“It is proposed to amend the Constitution to exclude all members of Parliament from being members of Provincial Councils,” reads part of the resolutions.

Currently, the Constitution allows MPs to be part of Provincial Councils and President Mnangagwa has said this would make it difficult for legislators to exercise an oversight over the councils.

The ruling party also resolved that Provincial Affairs Ministers should coordinate development projects in their respective provinces.

“It is resolved that the role of the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, as provincial representatives of His Excellency the President, be to provide overall coordination of development programmes.

“That the role of Provincial Councils be to provide legislative framework on provincial economic development through the production of economic development plans,” the ruling party further resolved.

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It was also resolved that a database of provincial economies be established, with the Minister of State required to take custody of the information.

“Capacity of Provincial Councils and the Minister of State should be built to enable them to effectively engage business entities, development partners and investors timelessly,” Zanu-PF said in its resolutions.

It also resolved that Government should periodically monitor the implementation of Vision 2030 and urgently create an enabling environment for ease of doing business to speed up the economic development of the country.

President Mnangagwa has set himself an ambitious goal through Vision 2030 to turn Zimbabwe into a middle income economy in 12 years’ time.

The revolutionary party urged Government to revise taxation levels to ease the burden on ordinary citizens.

Government was also called upon to eradicate the three-tier pricing system that has seen retailers charging different prices depending on the mode or currency used for payment.

Source : The Herald

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