When will the Provincial Councils be sworn in, Mutseyami demands answers

When will the Provincial Councils be sworn in, Mutseyami demands answers
When will the Provincial Councils be sworn in, Mutseyami demands answers

Dangamvura legislator Prosper Mutseyami has questioned the government’s sincerity on the issue of Provincial councillors elected from the August 2023 general elections.

The Zimbabwe constitution which was adopted in 2013 created the office of Provincial Councillors as part of the devolution process.

However, since 2013, the provincial councillors have never been sworn in or allowed to serve. Although they were not sworn in, they were however being paid by the government.

The situation appears to be replaying itself again, as the Provincial Councils that were elected in 2023 are yet to be sworn in.

This resulted in Honourable Mutseyami questioning the government’s sincerity on the issue.

‘’Thank you, Mr. Speaker Sir. Sometime last year before Christmas, I raised a point of national importance in this House with regards to the provincial councils which went through an election and were declared as winners, but up to date, they have not been sworn in, nor have they started their duties.

‘’That office has a clear reference in our Constitution, but there is no instrument or Act to enable them to start doing their duties. With your indulgence, Hon. Speaker Sir, you referred this issue to be taken up by the Government Chief Whip whereby you advised that the Ministry of Local Government, in conjunction with the Ministry of Justice, Legal, and Parliamentary Affairs, have to come up with an enabling Act so that this Committee will start work, but up to date, no work.

‘’I would not know probably something had come up whilst I was serving my suspension, but that is my prayer,’’ he said.

I will follow up with Govt

In his response, the Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda, acknowledged the issue and promised to make a follow-up.

‘’I do not know why you have to underline the serving of your suspension. I have your sympathies. I think if you recall, the first thing was to amend the Constitution because the previous provisions indicated that Members of Parliament would sit at the provincial councils’ level.

‘’We thought that was very unwieldy and the Constitution has been amended accordingly to remove Members of Parliament from the provincial councils so that they could exercise oversight accordingly.

‘’What remains now is to have the Bill as you rightly say Hon. Mutseyami, before Parliament here, so that the Act is enacted and the provincial councils begin to work.

‘Let me follow up on that one with the Minister of Justice, Legal, and Parliamentary Affairs in liaison with the Minister of Local Government as well as the Attorney-General. We need that Bill so that the provincial councils are operational. If you can indulge, we follow that process accordingly. A very important point of privilege indeed,’’ he said.