United Movement for Devolution (UMD) leader and former Speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo has said he was not losing sleep over his party’s poor showing in the July 30 elections, but would seek to consolidate the small electoral gains to grow the movement.
Moyo said he would push for devolution, end marginalisation, underdevelopment and other problems faced by Matabeleland, which he blamed on the centralised governance system.
UMD was unveiled in April this year.
President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa promised to ensure that devolution is implemented in line with Chapter 14 of the Constitution.
But Moyo said UMD believed without executive authority, the devolution system was not sufficient and would not deliver real change to provinces.
“We want to be active in the governance of our country. We will not be just bystanders. We will be politically active pushing for real devolution. We want real devolution and so ideologically we are devolutionaries. That is going to be our thrust and our message as we move forward in preparing ourselves for the future,” Moyo said in an interview.
Provincial and metropolitan councils are provided for under the Constitution, primarily for the advancement of the principle of devolution of governmental powers and responsibilities.
Under Section 264(2) of the Constitution, the provincial authorities are supposed to be given powers by central government to run their affairs and other responsibilities.
Moyo said the provincial powers must be given executive authority to be effective.
“To UMD, real devolution means having an elected governor, provincial minister or premier directly elected by the people to allow that leader to have executive authority and many other responsibilities at the provincial level. We want elected mayors with executive authority, not the ones that are compromised by their party-political affiliations,” he said.
“And that must be complemented by a provincial legislature. Yes, we have a provincial council, but in our view that is too weak. We want to be active in the governance of our country. We will be politically active on this devolution agenda.”
Moyo quit the MDC-T, where he was chairperson, following differences over the formation of the MDC Alliance and the subsequent leadership dispute after the death of party founder Morgan Tsvangirai in February.
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