Gutu United Residents and Ratepayers Association (GURRA) has expressed disappointment with the recently gazetted Provincial Councils and Administration Bill, arguing that it is retaining central government control on local authorities.
The Bill which came courtesy of a push from residents associations such as the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) and Community Water Alliance, is meant to facilitate the implementation of devolution.
According to Section 270(2) of the constitution, the government must come up with legislation that must provide for the establishment, structure and staff of provincial and metropolitan councils and the way they exercise their functions.
However, commenting on the gazetted Bill, GURRA said it is not in line with the aspirations of the constitution.
“The Provincial Councils and Administration Bill seeks to retain central government control of local government structures.
“It cannot be said to be in line with the principles, objectives and values of devolution as outlined in the constitution,” said GURRA via Twitter.
Devolution has become a hot topic in Zimbabwe in the past weeks both in and outside Parliament.
In Parliament, legislators such as Norman Markham, Daniel Molokele have spoken at length demanding that government come up with the required legislation.
The government on its part is working on removing legislators from the Provincial Councils, citing conflict of interest.
According to government’s argument, if legislators are part of Provincial Councils, it becomes difficult for Parliament to provide oversight over the councils.
Devolution is provided for in Chapter 14 of the Zimbabwe Constitution which was adopted in 2013. The gazetting of the Bill is also seen as part of efforts to align the constitutions with other legislations, which has taken longer than expected.
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