Zimbabwe African People's Union
The party was formed on 17 December 1961, 10 days after the Rhodesian government banned the National Democratic Party (NDP). Founded by Joshua Nkomo as president, Parirenyatwa as vice-president, Ndabaningi Sithole as chairman, Jason Moyo, Robert Mugabe as information and publicity secretary, Leopold Takawira as external secretary, at the request of Joseph Msika, ZAPU was banned in 1962 by the Rhodesian white minority government, and was later engaged in a guerrilla war against it. The armed wing of ZAPU, known as Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA), was commanded by General Lookout Masuku.
ZAPU was aligned with the Soviet Union whose ideology was to mobilise the urban workers, whereas ZANU had a pro-People's Republic of China orientation which was to mobilise the rural peasantry.Unification into ZANU–PF
In 1980 it contested elections in Zimbabwe as the Patriotic Front, but lost to its rival the ZANU. They merged into ZANU–PF in 1987 following the Gukurahundi massacres.
The Unity Accord signed at that meeting stated:
- That ZANU - PF and PF ZAPU have irrevocably committed themselves to unite under one political party.
- That the unity of the two political parties; shall be achieved under the name Zimbabwe African National Union (Patriotic Front) in short ZANU - PF.
- That Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe shall be the First Secretary and President of ZANU PF.
- That ZANU PF shall have two Second Secretaries and Vice-Presidents who shall be appointed by the First Secretary and President of the Party.
- That ZANU PF shall seek to establish a socialist society in Zimbabwe on the guidance of Marxism–Leninism principles.
- That ZANU PF shall seek to establish a One Party State in Zimbabwe.
- That the leadership of ZANU - PF shall abide by the Leadership Code.
- That the existing structures of ZANU - PF and PF ZAPU shall be merged in accordance with the letter and spirit of this Agreement.
- That both parties shall, in the interim, take immediate vigorous steps to eliminate and end the insecurity and violence prevalent in Matabeleland.
- That ZANU - PF and PF ZAPU shall convene their respective Congress to give effect to this Agreement within the shortest possible time.
- That, in the interim, Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe is vested with full powers to prepare for the implementation of this Agreement and to act in the name and authority of ZANU - PF.
2008 Withdrawal from Unity Accord
Under the influence of Benny Ncube and Dumiso Dabengwa in mid-October 2008, in the midst of the ongoing negotiations with rival parties, a group of former PF ZAPU and Zipra members became outspoken in the desire to dissolve the alliance with ZANU - PF. According to the archived records, the members convened a meeting in on 8 November 2008 and it was decided:
- That the political structure of ZAPU cease to operate under the title ZANU - PF and to resume the title ZAPU.
- That all party structures operate under the authority of the Constitution of ZAPU.
- That the District Councils should meet to prepare for and convene a Consultative Conference consisting of the ten Provinces by December 2008, for the purpose of electing an Interim Executive charged with the responsibility to mobilise and restructure the party and convene the party Congress by March 2009, in terms of Article 6 of the constitution of ZAPU.
- That a campaign to mobilise resources in the country, from well-wishers everywhere, from fraternal political parties and International Organisations be undertaken forthwith.
- To engage as necessary in the negotiations and peace building initiatives to emeliorate the political and economic hardships presently being endured by the people of Zimbabwe.
- To convene a consultative Conference consisting of all the ten political Provinces by December 2008 for the purpose of electing an Interim Executive, charged to mobilise and restructure the party and convene the Party's Congress by March 2009, in terms of Article 6 of the Constitution of ZAPU.
- THIS IS DONE AND AGREED TO by us the delegates to the Consultative Meeting at Stanley Square, Bulawayo on 8 November 2008.
This resulted in a party-internal controversy which culminated in an official severing of ties with ZANU-PF in December 2008.
2016 WITHDRAWAL FROM ZNLWVA
Ex-ZIPRA cadres officially withdrew their membership from the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association which is under the administration of ZANU PF.They moved on to revive ZIPRA with the interim executive of the association being led by Benny Ncube as chairperson,Tapson Moyo as vice chairperson,Petros Sibanda as secretary, Job Ndlovu as deputy secretary,Belinda Ndebele as treasurer and committee members are Stanley Ncube and Clement Malaba Ncube.The committee's mandate is to set up the association's structures in provinces and districts in preparation for the inaugural congress where substantive executive will be elected.The association will function in close association with the mother party ZAPU.
ZAPU National Consultative Convention
At the party conference, the ZAPU National Consultative Convention, held from the 13th to the 14 December 2008, Dumiso Dabengwa, a former Home Affairs minister was elected interim chairperson with the mandate to convene a two-day congress starting the 11 April 2009. The congress would formally endorse the pullout from ZANU and elect an executive for the party. The convention took place at MacDonald's Hall in Mzilikazi suburb in Bulawayo.
Party Congress of 2009
The party congress of 2009 which was supposed to elect new leadership took place a month later that scheduled, on the 16 May 2009. The congress formally endorsed the party's withdrawal from ZANU PF. The party announced that it had officially cut ties with ZANU PF and had withdrawn support for its former members who had chosen to remain in ZANU. The congress was attended by delegates from the country's 10 provinces as well as representatives from Canada, South Africa, Botswana and Swaziland.
9th Party Congress 2010
A full Congress was held at the Bulawayo Trade Fair in August 2010 at which a full policy was agreed and a substantive leadership elected with Dumiso Dabengwa as President and Emilia Mukaratirwa as Vice-President.
Zimbabweans seem to have developed amnesia over the real reasons why ZAPU (Zimbabwe African People's Union) entered into the unity accord of 22nd December 1987.
ZAPU was the main nationalistic party that waged the war of liberation against the Rhodesian racist colonial regime. It was formed in 1961 with Joshua Nkomo as its founding president. Its armed wing was called Zipra (Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army).
In 1963 a splinter group comprising of Robert Mugabe and others broke away and formed ZANU (Zimbabwe African National Union). Its armed wing was ZANLA (Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army).
Since the split of 1963, the two parties did not trust each. They however remained committed to the armed struggle as they were fighting a common enemy, Ian Smith and his Rhodesia front. Following the Lancaster negotiations of 1979 and the subsequent independence that was ushered by these negotiations the two parties agreed to merge the two armed wings, ZIPRA and ZANLA.
The 1980 elections gave ZANU the majority of seats in Parliament and Robert Mugabe became Prime minister. However the distrust between the two parties remained with Robert Mugabe accusing Joshua Nkomo and his party of having hidden agendas and hiding weapons in order to overthrow Mugabe's government.
The distrust amongst the two parties was worse between the armed wings, ZIPRA and ZANLA. This made integration of the two armed wings a monumental task. The cold war that existed between the two parties ignited into conflict in 1980 following an utterance by Enos Nkala, who was now the Minister of Finance under ZANU. At a rally in Bulawayo Enos Nkala said something to the effect that ZANU will deliver a few blows to ZAPU if they did not behave themselves. This triggered fighting between ZIPRA and ZANLA forces. The fighting lasted for several days. It has come to be known in the history books as "The Entumbane uprising".
A year later another fight broke out in the Midlands near Connemara prison. This was thwarted with the help of the Rhodesian forces. The Government asked the former Chief Justice of Zimbabwe, Enoch Dumbutshena to hold an inquiry as to the source of the fighting. To date that report has never been made public.
After Entumbane there was very little appetite by ZIPRA forces for joining the new integrated army. There were reports of mysterious disappearances and issues of favoritism in the allocation of senior positions in the new integrated army. ZIPRA cadres deserted and most took their weapons with them. The situation became worse after the alleged finding of weapons in February 1982 at a farm owned by ZAPU. There were accusations and counter accusations from both sides. ZANU accused ZAPU of trying to overthrow the government by force. This led to the arrest of ZAPU leaders that included Dumiso Dabengwa and Lookout Masuku and four others. The were charged with treason, but the government failed to prove a case against them. Upon their release Dumiso Dabengwa and Lookout Masuku were re-detained without trial for four years. Joshua Nkomo temporarily fled into exile in the United Kingdom. This caused a lot of discontent within the ranks and file of former ZIPRA fighters who deserted the army in large numbers. With their leaders all locked up or in exile, they felt there was nobody to protect them within the army.
Following an attempt on the Prime mister Robert Mugabe's life and abductions of Tourist by disgruntled ex- ZIPRA combatants, the government adapted a militant approach towards ZAPU. Robert Mugabe had earlier on signed an agreement with the North Koreans in 1980 to train a militia that would "combat malcontents" .Joshua Nkomo expressed his reservations over this combat unit in any interview with a London based television station.(The interview is readily available on the following vedios
The militia came to be known as the fifth brigade .The men were drawn from ex-ZANLA forces. The first commander of this brigade was Perence Shiri. This combat unit was different from the regular army in that it reported directly to the Prime Minister. Their most distinguishing feature in the field was their red berets. They were sent into the Midlands and Matabeleland to "restore order". Their mandate was a clear slate and they killed civilians with impunity. Most of the dead were shot in public executions, often after being forced to dig their own graves in front of family and fellow villagers. Another way the fifth Brigade used to kill large groups of people was to burn them alive in huts. They did this in Tsholotsho and also in Lupane. They would routinely round up dozens, or even hundreds, of civilians and march them at gun point to a central place, like a school or bore-hole. There they would be forced to sing Shona songs praising ZANU, at the same time being beaten with sticks. These gatherings usually ended with public executions.
Those killed could be ex-ZIPRA, or ZAPU officials, or anybody chosen at random. The Zimbabwe government repudiated these allegations and accused the hostile foreign press of fabricating stories. Ex- ZIPRA combatants retaliated and murdered those they regarded as "sell- outs". At this point Zimbabwe was literally turning into another Rwanda. It was not until the intervention of leaders like Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia. Robert Mugabe and ZAPU leader Joshua Nkomo signed the Unity Accord on December 22, 1987.
The Unity accord was a political decision made by ZAPU in order to put to an end to the killings that were taking place in the Midlands and Matabeleland. For all terms and purposes ZAPU sacrificed itself to put to an end the killings that came to be known as Gukurahundi. If ZAPU had not agreed to this unity accord, the killings would have possibly surpassed the genocide that took place in Rwanda.
On 18 April 1988, Mugabe announced an amnesty for all ex-ZIPRA combatants, and Joshua Nkomo in turn called on them to lay down their arms. A general ordinance was issued saying all those who surrendered before 31 May would get a full amnesty. This was extended not just to ex-ZIPRA combatants, but to criminals of various types serving jail terms and all members of the security forces who had committed human rights violations.
By the 1990s the disturbances were finally at an end.
Source International Political Achirves
Dumiso Dabengwa is the leader of ZAPU and a liberation war hero. He was also a member of Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU PF) officially until 2008 when he left ZANU to revive ZAPU.
He was born on the 6th of December 1939. He is married and has two children.
He holds four degrees, two of which are honorary
- Honorary doctorate degree from the University of Zimbabwe
- Honorary degree for his dedication towards the emancipation of black people in Zimbabwe and Africa
- Diploma in Business Administration
- Bachelor of Commerce degree.
He started political activism in 1958 when he was still working for the Bulawayo City Council. He then participated in the Second Chimurenga heading the Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Party (ZIPRA) intelligence. Dabengwa received his military training in Moscow, Russia hence is known as the 'Black Russsian' by his fellow comrades. He was appointed Home Affairs Minister in 1992, a post which he held for eight years until 2000.He had been earlier in 1982 charged with treason in 1981 but the state failed to provide evidence for the offence. However, he spent four years in detention for the offence. In 2008 he quit ZANU PF to revive the Zimbabwe African People's Party thus reversing the 1987 Unity Accord which had merged ZANU and ZAPU into one political party. Dabengwa said he left ZANU PF because he was convinced the party would lose the election with the kind of leadership it had. He did not contest in the 2008 presidential election but supported another former ZANU PF official Simba Makoni. Similarly in the July 31, harmonized elections, he formed a coalition with Welshman Ncube turning down Morgan Tsvangirai's call to form a grand coalition to oust Robert Mugabe
President 's Video Gallery
Deputy Secretary General
COMMEMORATION OF THE UNSUNG HEROES OF THE LIBERATION STRUGGLE
I will begin with a quote from Joshua Nkomo on the occasion of Lookout Masuku‘s burial on 12 April, 1986 – “Any failure to dedicate ourselves to the ideals of Masuku will be a betrayal of him and all those freedom fighters whose graves are not known. Our country cannot progress on fear and false accusations which are founded simply on the love of power.” Today, I will be speaking to you about the Unsung Heroes of our country.
The subject matter on heroes and heroism is dynamic and contentious and has been so for quite some time and will continue to be so. A lot of research has been put up by various scholars on the subject matter, and naturally, they could not find one common answer because of its dynamism. Naturally and historically all stages and levels of struggle produce their own heroes. In the Zimbabwean context, Ndebele warriors who fought against occupation and colonization produced their own heroes.
For example: At the Lalaphansi battles, Insukamini battle, Gadade battle, where Chief Mtshana Khumalo and the Mbizo regiment exhibited their bravery, and the Phuphu battle, where the Jameson Raid was completely annihilated. This bravery ran in the blood of the late heroes of ZPRA who fought for the liberation of this country – they fought and performed impressive fits of bravery. This bravery also ran in the blood of the normal civilians who aided the guerrillas during the liberation struggle and in countless, and mostly still unrecognized, heroic acts of bravery sacrificed themselves, their lives and their livelihoods for the realization of the country’s independence.
WHAT IS HEROISM?
Heroism is an act of bravery and selflessness that calls for supreme sacrifices where one puts one’s life into danger for the service of others or for one’s nation.
WHO IS A HERO?
These are men and women who are known to their comrades and organizations for having crossed the line and performed feats that were above what normal duty called for. Some of them died in action, in the line of duty, whilst others survived the heat of the struggle. The act of heroism is both historical and factual. It just cannot simply be earned by future occurrences or happenings. However, in the Zimbabwean context a unique scenario exists where heroes are not recognized and acknowledged or declared by one individual or a clique of dubious characters selected as an authentic committee. Some hard-headed people, like us, don’t approve of this, whilst divisive power mongers get immediate benefits from temporal political patronage.
THE ROLE OF HONOUR
The liberation struggle for independence produced its own heroes – both military and civilian. We, of course, had our ZPRA commanders Nikita Mangena, Lookout Masuku, Akim Ndlovu and Todd Mpisi (Peter Ndebele) who commanded the North-Eastern Front. During the early sabotage stages of the struggle we had people like Johnson Ndebele who was blown up in Highfields whilst trying to time a bomb, which had to be placed in a white’s only section of Salisbury’s (Harare’s) Main Post-Office. Then there was Bobbylock Manyonga who was intercepted and arrested between Victoria Falls and Lupane whilst ferrying weapons from Zambia.
When the struggle shifted to guerrilla warfare there were more heroes who emerged. For example, during the Wankie Battles, J.D. (Charles Ngwenya), and during the Sipolilo battles our living legend hero, Moffat Hadebe.
Later we had the likes of Ethan Dube who was kidnapped in Botswana, Francistown and tortured to death in Rhodesia. His remains have not been found. Probably, there are amongst those that are in the Mount Darwin mass grave, which was a mineshaft. As some of you may know, Mount Darwin is where the Selous Scouts had their main camp for torturing people to death during the liberation struggle.
There was also Mtimkhulu a legend ZPRA engineer who courageously disarmed 20 landmines and was killed by the 21st one. Kenneth Ndlovu who, during the Rhodesian pre-emptive strikes of ZPRA forces in Zambia was injured by a landmine whilst disarming personnel and anti-tank landmines in the Kariba area. His eyes were permanently blinded by the blast. Jane Tshabalala (Ratidzo) who refused to shoot down her subordinates as was ordered by the Rhodesian troops when they bombed and raided Mkushi Girls’ Camp in Zambia. She was aware of the consequences that naturally follow when there is noncompliance of such orders, but deliberately crossed the line.
We also have heroes of other races, such as Jeremy Brickhill (who performed above expectations in NSO) and Leo Baron (who lost his life during the struggle), both crossed the line and, out of normal belief, joined our liberation struggle and fought against their white colleagues. As well as Judith Todd who was arrested and detained on a number of occasions. In doing so, they also risked their families’ lives. We also have Ronnie Patel who actively joined the ZPRA forces as a driver and mechanic and after receiving his military training was one of the drivers for the Sipolilo operations, and in this way helped us with the struggle.
They were also traditional chiefs. For example, Chief Mangwende of Murewa who, because he was a member of ZAPU, sacrificed his chieftanship, which was withdrawn by the Rhodesian government. Chief Khayisa Ndiweni who showed the ethics of chieftanship and had a strong cultural background.
Chief Maduna Mafu who was imprisoned ten times both during the Smith regime and the Mugabe regime. There are many heroes who need our recognition and acknowledgement both dead and living.
Our true liberation history ought to identify in each province all those brave men and women – civilian and military – who contributed so much to our struggle. The role they played in assisting the guerrilla units was highly commendable. They were the water that made the fish survive. We should not also live out other leaders of the liberation struggle who contributed to the independence of this country, such ZANU members, James Chikerema, Ndabaningi Sithole, Tekere, and others. What we suggest is that each province must identify and maintain a roll of honour for all those that sacrificed for the liberation of our country. Such that, on Heroes’ Day, it is these people that should be remembered.
Again, I want to close with a quote of what Nkomo said as he closed his speech at Lookout Masuku’s burial, “He is not being buried at the Heroes’ Acre. But they cannot deny his status of a hero. You don’t give a man the status of a hero. All you can do is to recognize it. It is his. Yes he can be forgotten temporarily, but the young people who do research will one day unveil what Lookout has done.”
News / Press Release
19 August 2017
DA: GRANTING MUGABE IMMUNITY UNCONSTITUTIONAL, ILLEGAL
The DA says it is shocked that government has again let a high-profile person escape justice in the wake of the Omar al-Bashir debacle.
The International Relations Department gave Mugabe diplomatic immunity despite allegations that she assaulted a 20-year-old Johannesburg-based model in Sandton this month. The DA's James Selfe says the department's decision was irrational because Mugabe was not in the country for diplomatic responsibilities.
“She was receiving medical treatment, she allegedly was involved in a case of assault, a charge was laid but police shibby shabbied around and in the event, she was granted diplomatic immunity. She was later able to leave without any consequences for the action that she took. That is plainly wrong.”
The party says it will join lobby group AfriForum in approaching the High Court. It's a move that could, in theory, affect any future plans to travel to the country.
GRACE MUGABE MAKES PUBLIC APPEARANCE
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe’s first lady has made her first public appearance since leaving South Africa. Mugabe and her 93-year-old husband Robert Mugabe attended a farming fair in Harare on Friday, where she was seen smiling and talking with exhibitors.
She made no public comment.
By Staff Reporter
Devolution is the right way; The Rainy Day for Zimbabwe
ZAPU (Zimbabwe African People’s Union) Manifesto 2010, position on Devolution stated in Section Two (2) Manifesto Articles C &D reads:
- Devolution of Power to the Provinces
Excessive centralization built on the colonial "control" model has enabled the construction of an extensive patronage system in which political connection became an economic tool for the post-independence elite. ZAPU will remove the stranglehold of bureaucratic centralization, and work for devolution of political power and requisite economic responsibility to five viable provinces: Manicaland, Mashonaland, Masvingo, Matebeleland, and Midlands. Devolution of Power to the Provinces means the following:
- Provinces to have their own government elected by the people in the Provinces;
- Provincial government to have control over natural resources and environmental issues within its geographical jurisdiction;
- Provinces to have Provincial Parliamentary Assembly;
- Provinces to have Provincial Judiciary System;
- Provinces to have their own Provincial revenue raising system;
- People in the Provinces to be responsible for their economic, social, cultural and political development.
- Proportional Representation and the First-Past-the-Post
Proportional representation will be used at the national level, because it promotes the right to participate in the governance of one’s country. It accommodates diverse interests and promotes consensus. It enhances power sharing and allegiance to the political order of the day by leaders of different political parties because they have a stake in the arrangement.
The first-past-the-post electoral system will be used in the election of members of the Provincial Parliament/Assembly. It is important to ensure direct representation and accountability at the local level. Election of Country’s President, Prime Minister and Creation of National Executive Authority
e.The National Assembly (Parliament) which will be elected through a proportional representation system will elect the President. The President after consultation with leaders of political parties in Parliament will appoint the Prime Minister. The national Executive Authority will include President, Deputy President, the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Prime Minister and the Premiers of the 5 Provinces. The National Executive Authority will be the supreme decision making body of Zimbabwe. Its duties will be as follows:
- Advise the President on the meaning and implication of old and new legislation before he signs it into law;
- Advise the President on all matters of national interest and concern; and
- Advise the President on all senior national government Appointments, including appointments of people to constitutionally entrenched institutions
The principle goal for the Zimbabwe liberation struggle was the removal of racial domination, racial and tribal discrimination, subjugation, exploitation and oppression of black people of Zimbabwe by the then white colonial settlers. The fight for independence of Zimbabwe was the fight to reclaim the dignity of people of all races, respect of human rights and equality rights and freedoms as proclaimed in the United Nations General assembly resolution 217A (III) of 1948. The United Nations Human Rights resolution sets out the fundamental human rights to be protected. The ideology of ZAPU is ‘Human Rightism.’ Human Rightism is concerned with survival, social justice, human wellbeing and equality in terms of rights and responsibilities as a basis to promote social progress, social justice and better standards of life to people of Zimbabwe.
‘All human rights are inseparable, such as the right to life, equality before the law and freedom of expression; economic, social and cultural rights, rights to work, social security and education, or collective rights, rights to development and self-determination, are indivisible, interrelated and interdependent. The improvement of one right facilitates advancement of the other rights. Likewise, the deprivation of one right adversely affects the others.’
ZAPU’s model of governance by devolution of power to the provinces offers the best alternative form of governance that promotes and protects all human rights and fundamental freedoms, regardless of political, affiliations, economic and social status, ethnic and cultural background.
ZAPU Devolution Approach
The ZAPU devolution of power model is making use of local assets or resources to enhance the ability of individuals, communities and the general population to maintain and sustain social and economic development through the concept of localism. This approach will operate at local communities and provincial levels to promote self-reliance to safe guard against social and economic stagnation, marginalisation and isolation of certain provinces within the country. ZAPU devolution of power values the capacity, skills, knowledge, connection and potential in the community in transforming the natural resources to an economic activity that has social and material benefits for the local community and the country too. The requisite of ZAPU devolution of power is the legislative frame work, the natural and human capacity, technology, the practical skills, capacity and knowledge of different provinces and communities; the culture that is prevalent in those regions that gives those people a particular identity and practice; and the social capital that include schools, primary health, energy resources, roads and water supplies. ZAPU devolution of power also considers the resource of public, private and third sector organisations that supports those regions and communities to enhance economic and social development.
ZAPU model of devolution of power is moving from deficit to an asset approach. It assumes that a deficit approach is beginning from the current level of community or region’s capacity and move towards an asset approach where the community begins to think of new ways of going forward. It starts with the assets (both human and material) in the community, identifying opportunities and strengths. ZAPU devolution of power gives ownership to local people of their social and economic development, based on the principles of appreciating self-help and mobilising human and material resources for a common cause on the principle of self-starter and community motivation for identified needs and goals. ZAPU devolution of power builds on appreciative inquiry which identifies and analyses the existing strengths for the community by instilling confidence in their own capacities and inspiring them to take action to fulfill their socio economic needs.
The development and scope of ZAPU devolution of power implies developing some new skills and challenges the traditional ways of governance. In a traditional centralised government of ZANU PF delays associated with bureaucracy that impedes on the democratic principles and freedoms for people to make choices on matters affecting them. Decisions are usually made by distant authorities with inadequate knowledge and appreciation of localized circumstances in various regions and communities. The centralised approach using centralised authorities and because of their lack of understanding of the needs of the local communities their perceptions is that needs of local communities are the same. The intervention used is that one size fits all.
In a centralised ZANU PF arrangement the decision maker is peripheral to the local community and the business decision making office is placed outside the reach of the local area. This feeds in red tape, chiefdom, corruption, arrogance, patronage and bureaucracy.
The scope of devolution of power
Devolution of power empowers local provincial authorities to make them central in decision making through local legislative assembles. This includes mapping the resources, skills and talents of individuals, associations and organisations; developing the links between different parts of the community and its agencies; revitalising community relationships and mutual support to rediscover collective power and training local community members to research the needs of their community.
Methuseli Moyo, (24/08/2010), Separate Myth from fact, New Zimbabwe;
‘Devolution is associated with more democratic governance and a means to enact and deepen democratic participation. Local units of government are autonomous, independent and clearly perceived as separate levels of government over which central authorities exercise little or no direct control; the local governments have clear and legally recognised geographical boundaries within which they exercise authority and perform public functions; local governments have corporate status and the power to secure resources to perform their functions’.
Devolution of power provides a remedy for countries that struggle to define their national identities; promotes tolerance, inclusive nationalism against the purveyors of tribalism, social and political marginalisation of certain regions within the country.
Devolution of power can effectively work through a statutory granting of powers from the central government of an independent democratic country to governance at sub-national level, such as provinces to district levels. These may include provincial assemblies, district authorities and local councils giving them autonomous powers to run their socio-economic affairs. It is the transfer of political and administration powers from central government to local authorities. The provincial premiers, district councilors and village committees are elected by people contrary to imposing leaders to people by the state. ZAPU guarantees a constitutional right and within its manifesto provides for devolution of power into five provinces, namely:
Map of Zimbabwe showing devolved provinces under ZAPU devolution of power
The map shows ZAPU devolved political and administrative legislative provinces
Each of these devolved provinces will have their own legislative assemblies namely the provincial assembly of Mashonaland, provincial assembly of Midlands, provincial assembly of Manicaland, provincial assembly of Masvingo and provincial assembly of Matabeleland. Each of these is led by an elected Premier or governor. The provincial assemblies are subdominant to the national assembly but exercising autonomy in areas of their constitutional jurisdictions. The national assembly comprising members of parliament remains sovereign. The highest decision making authority will be the national executive authority comprising of the president, deputy president, the Speaker of the National Assembly, and the Premiers of the five provinces.
The hierarchal structure of governance under ZAPU devolution
The following is the simplified hierarchal structure of governance base on ZAPU devolution of power. See how levels of governance are interlinked which is crucial for checks and balances and flow of communication
The model of devolution of power is successful in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya. In India, Canada and United States of America the model is called federalism where there are federal states. The concept of devolution or federalism is the same; the driving force is the reason for devolution, and the exercise and implementation of the model enshrined in the constitution of individual countries practicing the various versions of models of devolution. ZAPU devolution of power gives a constitutional mandate for people at all provinces in Zimbabwe to enjoy proportionate political and economic power in championing the development and management of economic resources in their respective provinces.
The provincial assemblies will be structured according to a parliamentary system in which the executive is dependent on and accountable to the electorate. In each provinces the provincial legislatures is elected by the system of ‘First past the post.’ Under First Past The Post (FPTP) voting takes place in single-member constituencies. Voters put a cross in a box next to their favoured candidate and the candidate with the most votes in the constituency wins.
The powers of the provincial assemblies will be bound by the national constitution, which limits them to listed functional areas. The constitution will outline a principle of co-operative government whereby the various layers of government will coordinate their actions and legislative duties; it will also lay down a series of rules for resolving conflicts between national and provincial legislation (the lower levels of governance) or within the same levels of governance structures.
ZAPU views devolution of power as a fair model of governance based on apportioning proportionate representation also called Symmetric devolution of power. ZAPU symmetrical devolution of power provides for equal political and administration powers to all the five legislative provinces. They are all bound by the same rules and regulation stated in the constitution.
This is a fair system in which the number of seats held by members of a political party in a legislature in national or provincial assembly is determined by the number of votes its candidates receive in an election or proportional to its actual voting strength in the electorate. ZAPU believes the system creates a more accurate reflection of public opinion and gives opportunities for wider participation in politics.
The devolution of power sharing arrangement in the view of ZAPU is a key factor in negotiations on the constitution and is designed to address the mistrust among the country’s ethnic, tribal, racial and religious groups on issues of their recognition and discrimination in development projects.
ZAPU observes that the South African example of Devolution of power and the process of electing members into office has worked successfully.
Adopted from: www.southafrica.info/about/government/govprov
South Africa has nine provinces: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo Province, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West and Western Cape. Each province has its own provincial government, with legislative power vested in a provincial legislature and executive power vested in a provincial premier and exercised together with the other members of a provincial executive council. The legislature has between 30 and 80 members elected for a five-year term based on the province’s portion of the national common voters’ roll. The number of seats awarded to each political party is in proportion to the outcome of the provincial election. Provincial elections are held concurrently with national elections every five years. The legislature is empowered to pass legislation within its functional areas, as well as a constitution for the province should it wish to do so. A provincial legislature is bound only by the national Constitution, or by a provincial constitution if it has passed one. The premier is elected by the legislature and, as with the President at national level, is limited to two five-year terms in office. The premier appoints the other members of the executive council (MECs), which functions as a cabinet at provincial level. The members of the executive council are accountable individually and collectively to the legislature. Provincial & national, provincial & local Strengthening the links between national and provincial government, a province’s permanent delegates to the National Council of Provinces may attend and speak in the provincial legislature and committees, but may not vote. The legislature may also recommend legislation to the National Assembly. The devolution of power to municipal level is furthered by the province’s ability to assign any of its legislative powers to a municipal council in that province. National legislation may prevail over provincial legislation in cases where they conflict under certain circumstances, such as the maintenance of national security or economic unity, the protection of the environment, or in matters prejudicial to the interests of another province.
The South African example of devolution is based on the model of symmetrical devolution similar to the devolution adopted by ZAPU.
- ZAPU devolution of power is a statutory decentralization of symmetrical status, authority, legislative and administrative powers to lower levels of governance within a democratic country, Zimbabwe.
- In ZAPU devolution of power, sovereign authority resides in parliament at the national assembly with provincial legislatures excising their constitutional rights for economic and social development.
- ZAPU devolution of power will be enshrined in the constitution to give it a legal status. A devolved democracy must establish that the national constitution, and the national judicial system, is supreme over national, local and provincial authorities. Prosecutors, investigators and commissions will have the authority to investigate abuses of power, violations of rights, and charges of corruption in local, provincial and national governments. Violators must be held accountable in the national courts. Levels of government below the national assemble will not be allowed to maintain their own armies or militias
Political and administrative powers are devolved to lower levels of governance to include provincial assembly urban and district councils. Provincial political administrative boundaries will need to be clearly defined and observed by law. ZAPU manifesto has five provincial legislative assemblies each one with a people elected premier with its constituents including Matabeleland, Mashonaland, Midlands, Masvingo and Manicaland.
- Proportionate funding by national assembly of all levels of devolved provinces will be law and mandatory. Provinces will exercise full autonym on the budgetary needs of those funds. Provinces will have a duty to raise their own funds within given parameters.
- Proportional representation will be used at the national assembly, because it promotes the right to participate in the governance of one’s country. It accommodates diverse interests and promotes consensus. It enhances power sharing and allegiance to the political order of the day by leaders of different political parties because they have a stake in the arrangement.
- The first-past-the-post electoral system will be used in the election of members of the Provincial Assembly. It is important to ensure direct representation and accountability at the local level.
- The National Assembly (Parliament) which will further elect the President.
- In ZAPU devolution of power, social and economic development will spread evenly to all political regions preventing marginalisation of other region. ZAPU devolution of power model is a tool for equitable distribution of political power, wealth and natural resources., and recognition of social diversity in the country
The ZAPU model of devolution of power is symmetric. Symmetric devolution of power assumes that political and administrative power is devolved to lower layers of governance and these entities join together to form a single national government administration at national assembly.
ZAPU government will devolve power to provincial legislatures in the following services:
- primary health and social care
- primary law making (byelaws) and environmental policing
- primary and secondary education, tertiary education and youth development programs.
- local government, settlements, service delivery and housing
- local environment, planning and social and economic infrastructure
- local tourism, sport and recreation, museums, cultural heritage; languages, equality and diversity
- local economic development , industry and commerce , internal transport and vehicle licensing
- Community broadcasting both television and radio
- Provincial energy, fuel and power supply
- Mines and mining
- Agriculture; and food production
ZAPU believes that devolving these services to provincial authorities is consistent with the principle that decision-making powers are spread to all levels of governance linked to the national assembly. Devolution of power discourses will therefore draw on nationalist identities to create new systems of governance, aimed at being more responsive, relevant, transparent, and accountable to people at all levels of governance, and to be a bridge across the divide between the state and civil society.
ZAPU aims are to achieve a holistic approach to policy development and delivery, focused on the requirements of local citizens, and to strengthen local democracy. Particular importance will be attached to a community-led approach in which local citizens and stakeholders engage in capacity building, community plans and devolved forms of local government.
ZAPU strongly believes that local assemblies working in partnership with the local people with the help of government are able to identify resources within the local area or province and transform those resources for economic and social benefit of their local community.
ZAPU will ensure that attention is given to issues of organizational and cultural change, capacity building and the hidden costs of implementing the devolution of power agenda.
ZAPU views devolution of power a constitutional matter and the prerogative can only be made by the people of Zimbabwe. ZAPU is the only party in Zimbabwe providing that choice. Legislation creating devolved assemblies will be a constitutional duty by the state.
The central government will usually retain certain core powers such as:
- the national constitution; provincial affairs and judiciary
- international relations & foreign policy
- Defence and national security
- nationality and immigration
- National policing and public order; and Correctional services
- Information and national broadcasting
- National finance, tax system and monetary & economic policy planning
- Public services and employment planning and creation
- Exports and imports processing
- Energy and fuel supply broader planning
Why devolution of power?
ZAPU devolution of power heralds a significant shift in the way communities are governed free from rigid bureaucratic structures and a lack of understanding of how to engage local communities. The case for ZAPU devolved forms of governance offers the prospect of:
- a means of giving different provinces autonomy and control over their local affairs. People will feel more secure and willing to accept the authority and legitimacy of the larger national state.
- a means of sharing power of the wide range of different political parties and groups. The survival of democracy cannot be winner takes all system. ZAPU believes devolution offers minority parties that cannot win control of the central government an opportunity to exercise power in some lower levels of governance. This system is therefore inclusive because it provides all political groups a share of political power at any level of governance.
- to embrace and enhance the depth and legitimacy of democracy. Devolution of power is now a global approach to democratic principles. ZAPU believes it is not enough for people to choose their national leaders in periodic, free and fair elections without recognizing people’s democratic participation and political power at lower levels of governance.
- Providing better quality of service delivery based on community priorities by the communities themselves.
- Ensuring that local community programmes and budgets are better targeted at community needs and priorities.
- Providing a localised focus for crosscutting measures, which emphasizes outcomes for citizens rather than outputs for bureaucrats
- Presenting the opportunity for enhanced community participation and partnerships within the local community.
- Strengthening the role of elected leaders and whose mandate is influenced by local needs and aspirations influenced by people within that locality.
- Developing the enabling role of local authorities by involving local stakeholders and local partnerships. With devolution local communities have the advantage of adopting approaches that best suit local needs, cultural preservation, political structures and the capacity and willingness of local institutions and communities to adopt alternative forms of local devolution? It is the willingness of local authorities and central government to learn and transform their bureaucracies through clear political leadership that will determine whether the stated desired goals for more devolved forms of local governance are met.
What will people in different provinces benefit under ZAPU devolution?
- Power Generation and Energy
The best way to approach power generation in Zimbabwe will be to decentralize it to each province with central government offering a regulatory role. The power needs of each province are not identical. It means every province will need to set up its own generators and power management systems all the way down to a provincial grid and billing system. This will not outlaw any necessary interprovincial power lines as well as grids required for exporting/importing power as and when needed.
Each province will be equipped with the requisite infrastructure to generate, distribute and manage its own power provincially. Those provinces with greater capacity to generate excess power such, as Matabeleland North with its Hwange Thermal Power Station or Mashonaland West with its Kariba Hydro Power Station can be allowed to export their extra power to neighboring provinces if needed. There is no province in Zimbabwe without the capacity to generate power either using Solar, Thermal or Hydro power stations. Provincial administrations could enter into smart partnerships with any foreign or local investors at their discretion. This will see modern and more efficient power generation systems coming into Zimbabwe.
Other provinces such as Manicaland may take advantage of their 'Eastern Highlands' to set up wind driven turbines. There are also a number of naturally occurring waterfalls to drive turbines in Manicaland.
It only follows that once each province attains capacity to generate adequate power industries will be borne in those provinces. Construction and maintenance of every power grid is an industry on its own. A centralized government only focuses on its urban centers when it comes to electrification. A devolved ZAPU government on the other hand will enable provinces to reach out to places considered rural or remote by authorities in a centralised administration.
Zimbabwe imports all its fuels including biogas. The establishment of sugarcane plantations in Chisumbanje, Manicaland to produce ethanol for mandatory blending as a way of achieving import substitution is a positive step. However, it defies logic why the blending itself should only be done at a plant located in Harare far away from Manicaland. It further defies logic why truckloads of the Jatropha plant which thrives in Mutoko, Mashonaland East, have to be ferried to a Biodiesel Plant set up in Mt Hampden, Mashonaland West. A devolved ZAPU government would have offered to have the pipeline ending in Mutare in Manicaland where all petroleum cracking would be conducted. ZAPU believes that secondary and tertiary industries should by all means be situated near the primary resource industry.
The current mining of diamonds at Chiyadzwa in Manicaland mainly involves the export of unpolished diamonds. Calls have been made to develop and establish a cutting and polishing center of our own. A ZAPU devolved government would see such a strategic establishment being set up in Manicaland however the current centralized government is constructing the school/center for diamond cutting and polishing in Mt Hampden, Mashonaland West.
The people of Manicaland are denied the employment opportunities and revenue generated from the extraction and processing of diamonds coming from area of their habitant.
What ZAPU observes is that the people of diamond rich Marange are violently removed from their native land to pave the way to the interests of centralised government extremists. In devolution, this resource is given to the hands of people in Manicaland so that it provides opportunities for both social and economic growth in that region and the country as a whole.
The excessive extraction of granite blocks in Mutoko, Mashonaland East has left people in Mashonaland with no benefits accrued to the local communities there. The community there has to deal with land degradation.
There is great potential for economic prosperity in mining under ZAPU devolution of power in Zimbabwe. ZAPU notes that every province in Zimbabwe has some mineral deposits of some sorts. Some of these minerals have not been exploited due to the general failures of a centralized government.
Masvingo Province has the world's richest lithium brines and clays. These can be industrially electrolyzed to derive pure lithium that can be further processed into valuable lithium-ion batteries as well as 'mood stabilizers’ medical drugs for manic depression among many other great uses.
In Silobela in the Midlands Province, there are great deposits of a lustrous gray metalloid called antimony mainly useful as alloying material for lead and tin in lead-acid batteries and plain bearings. The Great Dyke stretching about 550 kilometers from Mashonaland Central through Mashonaland West to Midlands,is yet another underutilized mineral rich landmark. The range is host to vast ore deposits, including gold, silver, chromium, platinum, nickel and asbestos. The disused gold mines in Guruve, Mashonaland Central, abandoned by German miners soon after our independence. No exploration is taking place, an economic resource that could be driving the growth of the economy. The list of neglected mineral wealth in Zimbabwe can never be exhausted in this document.
Economic activities will increase under ZAPU devolution of power. Under ZAPU devolution, an economic resource audit will be carried out with every province to ascertain the true economic value of those provinces and decide on the best ways of resources utilization. The local people are by right entitled to take an inventory of all economic resource available and transform those resources for their economic benefits.
Zimbabwe can be divided into five distinct agricultural regions which do not necessarily follow provincial boundaries. However not all provinces enjoy adequate arable land. Matabeleland South does not have enough arable soils ideal for crop farming. Livestock farming thrives. People of Matabeleland South can prosper by selling its excellent meat produce to other provinces in Zimbabwe as well exporting to other countries. Part of the revenue generated can be used to outsource grains and other necessities into the province. This arrangement can easily promote interprovincial trade and solidify national cohesion.
Devolution of power in its true sense can effectively lead to better economic performance in every province. Value addition and Export Processing Zones are always located right next to the raw materials. It only makes sense to have a sugar refinery in Chiredzi, Masvingo Province right next to the sugarcane plantations there. Cotton farmers in Gokwe should have access to a ginnery located in their Midlands Province. Jobs opportunities created by value addition should naturally go to the people who reside in places where raw materials are extracted. Only the ZAPU devolved government can achieve such a noble arrangement.
The whole world knows Zimbabwe because we were blessed with one of the ‘seven wonders of the world’ the mighty Victoria Falls. Under a devolved state, each province in Zimbabwe has its own unique tourism package to offer both to the domestic and foreign tourist. Masvingo Province has that world famous Great Zimbabwe Ruins as well as part of the now trans-frontier park called Gonarezhou shared with Mozambique and South Africa.
Matabeleland North is the proud host to the aforementioned Victoria Falls recognized worldwide. The same province also boasts of Hwange National Park, also world renowned for its flora and fauna. There is no school of tourism or catering in Victoria Falls. These schools are situated away in bigger cities far away from the centre of activity. The prospect of local young people benefiting from jobs in tourism is very unlikely.
Manicaland has that awesome Mount Inyangani range. Mashonaland West has Kariba Dam watered by the mighty Zambezi River. Chinhoyi Caves are also in that Province. There are many other great places of interest to visit in other provinces not listed herein for the sake of brevity. A tourist to Zimbabwe is really spoilt for choice.
Tourism is a vital sector of the economy with the capacity to generate employment and revenue. Again through tourism a country can brand itself and be known in good light. ZAPU devolution actually takes this a step further by giving room for each province to be known in its own right. In order for tourism to succeed at provincial level, ZAPU devolution encourages each province to adopt its own model of tourism infra-structure and management systems. There is no need to benchmark anything as diversity becomes part of the very cause a tourist would want to visit all the provinces in turns. ZAPU devolution will encourage and strengthen the role of Eco-tourism entrepreneurship.
- Natural forestry and exotic woodlands
Natural woodlands that include Mukubisi and Miombo woodlands in the North Eastern Zimbabwe and hard wood forests in Matebeleland North can be a source of social and economic growth of those communities. People living adjacent to those woodlands are currently excluded from direct economic participation driving them to have little respect and value of those resource because of lack connection and ownership.
Little attention is paid to the impact of the centralised policy on woodlands use and commercialization of woodlands forests which is viewed in isolation and disconnected from the local communities. Little interventions at wider community levels have been attempted by the current government to give ownership of local forests to local communities.
ZAPU believes that the centralised approach is in variance with community development prerogatives and the situation should be addressed within the frame work of decentralization and democratization of natural resource management.
Under ZAPU devolution of power, mechanisms for promoting the sustainable use of biological biodiversity will include an enabling legislative framework which promotes the sustainable use of renewable biological resources. In devolution of power people within their provinces will have the right to forests and land resources currently belonging to the Government by decentralizing the management of those resources to local communities to fully utilize and benefit from resources located in their communities?
- Education, culture, tribal entities, and information
Zimbabwe is socialized and built around cultural and tribal structures, the legacy of colonial social stratification and the principle of divide and rule. Nationalism in Zimbabwe was basically a positive force, directed against colonialism during the liberation struggle for Zimbabwe but with little planning about the nature of the new social Zimbabwe after the end of colonialism. At independent Zimbabwe the new government of ZANU PF, did not attempt to address the root causes of negative tribal relations to put Zimbabwe’s unity at the top of their agenda. There was no attempt to unify diverse cultures, races and tribes at their core values. There was no clear sense of what it meant to be a Zimbabwean.
Different tribal groups in Zimbabwe needed time and recognition to overcome historical prejudice and oppression and learn that it was possible to have a relationship with other tribal groups in which they reveal their whole selves, including their tribal identity and fallibility. Politics in Zimbabwe has always failed to recognize, preserve and allow different ethnic groups to preserve their identity, customs and culture and yet subscribe to national identity. Every human being seeks to preserve their identity and culture. ZAPU devolution will recognize different cultures in Zimbabwe and support communities to exercise and preserve their cultures and custom by encouraging provincial authorities to include a local language in the school curriculum. ZAPU will devolve research in history so that the historical information about Zimbabwe reflects in addition to the national history, the history of local communities and the sacrifices made by certain individuals in then struggle, politics and other spheres of life. Many people who sacrificed their lives and died during the war of liberation, particularly those at lower social structures and those from opposition parties are currently no given adequate recognition that is deserved of them.
In ZAPU devolution of power, local communities will have the right and privileges to preserve, record and store historical information about their communities within their local community in formats they see fit.
ZAPU devolution of power will open up airwaves for local television and radio stations broadcasting in local languages for local information and promotion of local culture. ZAPU devolution of power will promote the establishment of local cultural and sports centers; encourage cultural exchange with other provinces and wider world.
ZAPU devolution of power will introduce ‘equality, ethics and diversity policy’ making it a mandatory course at training institutions to embrace and strengthen appreciation of racial, tribal and cultural diversity in Zimbabwe. Employers will be encouraged to develop its own equality, ethics and diversity policy developed from broader aims of the equality, ethics and diversity national policy framework.
Tertiary training colleges consistent with the economic activity in various provinces will be established in those provinces, In ZAPU devolution of power, the college of tourism and catering will be situated in Victoria Falls unlike the present arrange where the colleges are in Bulawayo and Harare. The school of mining can be situated in Marange. Every province will have a college of agriculture and livestock rearing because farming is at the heart of Zimbabwe.
- Money and financing
ZAPU views access to selective financial credit a hindrance to economic development. In the current situation loans are only available to those with collateral and those without collateral are excluded from the financial market. ZAPU devolution of power will devolve access and opportunities to financial assistance by strengthening the role microfinance and micro entrepreneurship. Emphasis will be made in providing financial and skills support to small entrepreneurs in lower levels of economic activities for those interested in livestock production, transportation, food production, farm equipment, borehole drilling, residential construction, educational entrepreneurs, music and culture, research and many more identified by local communities in their areas of jurisdiction.
Asymmetric devolution of power
It is important to highlight its features to dispel misconceptions held in some quarters of opposition.
In an asymmetric approach, the devolved arrangement differs sharply between provinces. Asymmetric devolution of power therefore occurs where there is a differentiation in the degrees of autonomy and power amongst the provinces. This means that devolved provinces would constitutional and legally be treated differently in the process of administration. In the United Kingdom for example devolution is characterized by asymmetry. In Scotland exercises full autonomy in its domestic policy serve for foreign policy, defense and social security. Wales has executive territorial powers but has no powers on tax varying. Northern Ireland has some primary legislative power but has no power to raise taxes. Parliament in Westminster in England has the sovereign authority over all the territories. The territories have semi- autonomy in social and economic self-determination.
An asymmetric devolution is therefore where a province enjoys considerably more independence than the others and may be granted a statutory autonomy to run its affairs with little interference and support from the national assemble.
The specific powers that are devolved to each province usually depend on the social and economic capacity of individual provinces and the underlying reason that the government chooses to employ an asymmetric approach. A particular ethnic group may have heightened control over issues related to marginalisation and seek self-determination, while the other province may have more control over vital resources than others. Alternatively, depending on the particular needs and capacities of each province, different provinces in the same country may also exercise different powers and making autonomous decisions in areas devolved to them. The present ZANU PF sponsored devolution sits within the asymmetric devolution of power to prosper and foster perpetual marginalisation of other provinces
Role of ZAPU government in devolution
ZAPU programs for devolution challenges the current established centralised approaches and raises a number of practical considerations:
- ZAPU will legislate for devolution of power to the provinces stating what emphasis should be placed on provinces and how far and how much to devolve decision-making powers to those provinces independent of national assembly such powers will be garzetted.
- ZAPU will provide awareness programmes on devolution. People need to be convinced that their views will be taken into account and those local authorities and other public agencies will be willing to change their ways of working and attitudes to embrace the wishes of people through constant debate and exchange of views and modalities (consultation).
- ZAPU national assemble will play a key role in devolving decision-making by resourcing community engagement and facilitating local flexibility, pooled budgets and auditing.
- ZAPU devolved approach to local governance will require government structures capable of responding flexibly to local issues. It will require a long-term commitment to building community capacity, including communicating information to citizens and training to deliver community agendas, by working with local leaders, local authorities and other partners. Information technology could play a key role in this.
- Consultation strategies will be embedded in policy-making processes so that public participation is transparent properly planned and implemented, with the responsibilities of key stakeholders and realistic assessments of expected outcomes clearly identified. This will be a means to active community involvement expected to translate into genuine forms of local devolution and changing the role of traditional representatives in politics.
- ZAPU will formulate ways that facilitates various elements of the Government's agenda to be brought together at national, regional and local levels. Communication in this case is important to be built within an organisational structure to improve relationships and promote effective coordination within the devolved levels of governance. This will help to avoid overlaps or holes that may undermine coordination, stressing the open flow of communication that keeps the structures operating smoothly
- There will be a need for organisational and cultural change; political and financial challenges in implementing devolved approaches. ZAPU will establish clear links between the array of emerging provincial assemblies and local authority community strategies and regeneration partnerships.
- ZAPU will attach greater responsibility to the regional and local outposts of national assembly. Take account of local circumstances and the practical problems faced by those implementing provincial and local community management to enhance localised innovation and sustainable solutions.
- ZAPU recognizes that additional support will be required to cover community initiatives. ZAPU will adopt a national programme for compiling data for provincial performance management and analysis and promote the use of new technologies for training and information exchange and democratic engagement. Support pilot schemes, disseminate good practice and develop new approaches to the measurement of community engagement.
- ZAPU supports the freedom of expression and access to information. ZAPU devolution supports local media outlets which represent different tribal communities and regions. A national media legislative framework which considers multiple viewpoints undercuts the influence of a narrow single view point. The national mass media and information is crucial to the national democratic process. It is the media that informs and validates people’s understanding of what is going on within their communities. The government that controls the media and withholds information which holds the key to reaching the general public infringes the process and progress of democratic development. It is important that the mass media particularly within ZAPU devolved approach is open and transparent so that people are objectively informed to allow them to make the right choices and decisions. The freedom of the press must be balanced with its accountability and providing multiple players more importantly in devolved provinces and in the local languages to the advantage of the local people. Media monopoly should not be allowed to develop and dominate. In ZAPU devolution media pluralism ensures the provision of local media stations giving a voice to people in their local communities.
- ZAPU supports the preservation of culture and heritage of people in various regions. Different tribal groups in Zimbabwe need time to overcome historical prejudice and oppression and learn to embrace diversity
Role of provincial and local assemblies
Local authorities will also need to decide on the form of local management structure suited to the culture and geography of that area. These could be based on one or all of the following:
Area-based: The selection of localities of differing physical size for comprehensive, devolved forms of management covering a potentially wide range of policy areas and service delivery programmes.
Thematic, client-based approaches: A thematic approach is where the emphasis is on issues including crime and disorder, education, the environment, and housing management, unemployment and services to vulnerable people in the community.
Project-specific approaches: the quickest and easiest way of securing community engagement and results at regional and community level is when the issues are specific and project-based, for example environmental projects or economic development projects. In the longer term such schemes may act as a spur to greater community involvement.
Roles of the premiers under ZAPU devolved powers
The primary roles of the provincial premiers among other duties will include chief legislator and chief executive; crisis manager, chief of party, inter-governmental liaison, and provincial budget holder. Please note that these roles are not exhaustive but an attempt to highlight what premiers are likely to do in a devolved government.
Given their status and stature, premiers take the lead in lawmaking endeavors in the provinces of their jurisdiction. They typically involve themselves very directly in the laws considered and passed by the state legislative body. The devolved State powers and laws offer premiers some formal tools that they can use in their legislative leader roles.
Agenda setting for the provinces is a part of the policymaking process by identifying developmental projects requiring both provincial and governmental action. The issues are brought forward by multiple actors in those local communities, including the premier; legislative leaders lower levels of governance, interest groups, and the media.
Policy formulation is another role of the premier performs as a provincial legislature by drafting with his legislative body potential solution to identified needs in the province.
The Role of Chief Legislator in Perspective
In addition to the premiers’ role in both agenda setting and policy formulation, the premier’s role as the chief legislator is to work with others through an established process to achieve desired policy goals.
The other role of the premier is that of chief executive, as this role encompasses overseeing the execution of the laws. Premiers must work with the state bureaucracy to carry out the laws. They are responsible for managing the bureaucracy.
Managing the Bureaucracy
Premiers must strive to create a degree of coherence in order to pursue their policy goals. Premiers must interact with many other actors in pursuit of the chief executive role. Various important actors, both inside and outside government, must be recognized and sometimes attended to.
Chief of State
The chief of state is more symbolic status. The premier represents and embodies the state. He or she is the focal point for internal and external observers of the state.
Although not a constant job for the premier, however, when this role is called for, it will most likely dominate his or her time and attention until the crisis at hand is settled. These may include calls to protect the public or to work to heal their wounds. Premiers must respond to crises, both natural and man-made. The premier as crisis manager is filling both a managerial and a symbolic role.
Chief of Party
Another primary role of premiers is that of chief of party. This role is not an official job of the office; it grows naturally from the premier’s position as the provincial highest elective officer. Where the two or more parties are competitive in a province this role is very significant for both the power of the premier and the role of the party in the state. However, merely carrying the party label does not guarantee a premier strong support from electorate. The important thing is to connect the needs of the people and alongside the people to meet their needs and aspirations.
Some of the responsibilities of premiership are exercised between the provincial and between district councils and the national assemble. In a devolve country the decisions made by one level of government often have a substantial impact on the other levels, which means it is vital for premiers to pay attention to what other levels of governance are doing so that their role as a conduit and link between levels of governance.
The power to craft the budget is critically important for the role of the premier. Influence over the budget can translate into significant influence over the policy direction of the national assemble, since spending priorities ultimately equal policy priorities.
The budget as it unveils spending plans requires the premier, councils and the national legislature to work together. Premiers are in charge of preparing the budget and submitting it to the legislature.
Key issues for effectively devolved governance
ZAPU will establish the needs, priorities and aspirations of communities and individual; Local devolution implies that the needs, priorities and aspirations of local communities are identified and a set of actions agreed with the key organisations responsible for meeting local needs. Projects are best suited where needs and priorities are easily defined. Communities are aware of what resources are available in their communities. Communities will be supported in technology to transform those resources to meet their needs. With experience, and increasing self-confidence, lessons can be transferred to more complex forms of community development projects.
ZAPU will help in building community capacity: promoting participation: Local communities can apply a range of participation techniques which may be used to stimulate inclusive local involvement in decision-making, implementation and capacity building. The experience of achievement by the local community may cultivate the interest for participation in successive projects. The scope, realistic outcomes and the time period of the exercise should be clear from the outset, the responsibilities of the local authority, councillors and other stakeholders defined and communities reassured that their views will count. A considerable commitment in terms of time, money and change in bureaucratic habits is required if communities are to become active participants. The network of intermediary bodies which assist local communities’ needs strengthening and consideration will be given to creating a government-supported fund, to facilitate community engagement. The key lesson is that participation is not a one-off exercise and building community capacity requires resources and a sustained commitment.
ZAPU will enhance and legitimize the role of elected members: ZAPU devolved approach to community management present opportunities and challenges for elected premiers or councillors. It allows them to be more involved and in contact with local issues, but may be a source of conflict if their priorities, those of the community and local authority staff, assigned to help to deliver community priorities, do not match. Roles, responsibilities and declarations of interest of different constituents of the community are vital to provide clarity of goals.
ZAPU is committed to improving service delivery: Service delivery should be improved if account is taken of community views. Local authorities and other public agencies will need to develop new skills to work with local communities. Attention will also be given to resolving competing local interests and balancing local priorities with the need for an equitable distribution of resources and effective service delivery across a wider area of the community.
ZAPU will develop the enabling role of local authorities: Local devolution may accelerate the process in which local authorities become 'enablers' rather than direct service providers, as authorities begin to support cross-cutting and capacity building measures, through strategic and local partnerships. This will require innovative ways of working, including networking skills, multi-disciplinary working and new approaches to accountability.
ZAPU intends to produce better 'joined-up' working: Political and institutional commitment to 'joined-up' working is essential if it is to succeed. National assembly has a key role to play in devolving decision-making in its own structures and facilitating flexibility and pooled budgets at local levels.
ZAPU will devolve budgets for provinces proportionate: The concept of devolution will encourage local authorities and national authorities to examine new approaches of financial resource allocation.
Funding may be provided to the devolved provinces from the government as a block grant. This means once the money is received by the devolved provincial legislature, it can be spent on any devolved responsibility as the province see fit .
The amounts of grants in the devolved budgets may be determined by the Barnett formula, which provides them with size of the population. The formula gives the devolved provinces a proportionate share of spending on ‘comparable’ functions, given their populations compared to other provinces. Devolved provinces be granted powers to generate their own revenue say by imposing local taxes.
A provincial legislature may impose taxes, levies and duties other than income tax, value-added tax, general sales tax, rates on property or customs duties. The power of a provincial legislature to impose taxes, levies, duties and surcharges may not be exercised in a way that materially and unreasonably prejudices national economic policies, economic activities across provincial boundaries, or the national mobility of goods, services, capital or labour. It must be regulated in terms of legislation enacted on a Financial and Fiscal considerations made by the national assemble.
ZAPU encourages innovation: Encouraging innovation is easiest when people understand and relate to the objectives and required outcomes. As complexity increases innovation all too often takes the form of process changes and outcomes for residents are replaced by more easily measurable outputs. ZAPU devolved governance is dependent on innovations - 'doing things differently' - that deliver better, more accountable and transparent outcomes
Disparities in the current Zimbabwe government version of devolution
Section 264 of the new Zimbabwe constitution refers to devolution of governmental powers and responsibilities. The new constitutional obligation on devolution has not taken off ground and no steps have been taken to enact the enabling law or capacitate the relevant entities towards implementation of the provision.
The contrast between what ZAPU and the present version of Zimbabwe government devolution of power is, is that ZAPU has five devolved provinces namely; Mashonaland, Matabeleland, Midlands, Masvingo and Manicaland. The Zimbabwe Government constitution provides for devolution to ten authorities (including metropolitan councils). The decision for devolution with the Zimbabwe government devolution appears to depend on the economic performance of those provinces and such decision remains at the discretion of central government. “(1) whenever appropriate, governmental powers and responsibilities must be devolved to provincial and metropolitan councils and local authorities that are competent to carry out those responsibilities efficiently and effectively”. This constitution is silent about what and how much to devolve. The discretion is left to the government as it sees it fit. The current Zimbabwe devolution appears to fit in the concept of Asymmetrical devolution featuring mainly delegated power.
It is argued that ZAPU’s demarcation of five provincial governments jurisdiction will result in a more economically and socially viable and sustainable local governments than the current ten smaller provinces in the current Zimbabwe devolution approach. The view is that smaller provinces may struggle to generate revenue for themselves because of a narrow resource base. ZAPU’s approach to devolution is symmetrical. No province is discriminated. All provinces are treated and supported in the same way. ZAPU believes that all provinces have enough resources and intellectual capacity to manage their affairs. ZAPU will provide relevant support to any province where deficiency in management and financial capacity is identified. ZAPU considers this a duty and mandate to implement in terms of the law and constitution.
The current Zimbabwe government constitution implies that the government can pick and choose which authorities would have devolved power and what to devolve. That means that they will be variations of the kind of devolution from one province to the other. It appears some provinces may never see the light of devolution and the benefits of localism. This has the effect of perpetuating opportunities for marginalising other provinces that would be by default viewed to be incompetent by central government. The current government devolution of power gives the minister of local government powers to dissolve local government authorities if the minister felt that those councils are incompetent. This kind power vested in the minister is prone to abuse and patronage.
The current government constitution on devolution provides for provincial councils headed by a chairperson who will be selected from the party with the highest number of seats in the province. ZAPU on the other hand advocates for elected provincial Premiers. The current government devolution of power fails to provide people with real political power and greater political participation.
Fears for devolution of power
Opponents of devolution are wary that, in the context of assumed deep ethnic and regional divisions, devolution will lead to the break-up of the country. The former Soviet Union and former Yugoslavia are some of the examples that can be cited. Divided countries have disintegrated at crucial moments precisely because they did not develop over time democratic means for the devolution of power that knitted ethnic groups together in a more authentic, voluntary, and legitimate political union.
When groups are held together in a country mainly by force and fear, anxious minority social groups would seek to secede from a central government power to free themselves from marginalisation and at times physical abuse. The people in Matabeleland generally feel vulnerable particularly to the effects of the Matabeleland Gukurahundi envision. The prevailing ideology and interpretation held by people of Matabeleland of the Gukurahundi genocide is that of suppression of one tribe by the other; an act of ethnic cleansing and desire for political dominance and control by the then perpetrator ZANU PF party dominated by people from northern Zimbabwe whose main language is Shona. The violent takeover by ZANU PF of farms owned by Zimbabwe white farmers is symbolic to a deep rooted racial division in Zimbabwe and a culture of revenge. The 2008 destruction of dwellings for Zimbabwe urban residents, code named Murambatswina was a deliberate violation of people’s dignity intentionally forcing people to relocate to rural areas where ZANU PF believed they had the influence to direct the votes in their favour. No one is completely free from aggression and violation of rights under ZANU PF rule.
By contrast, when the national government, under a new political circumstance that attend the formation of a new democratic system, makes an early and sincere grant of autonomy, the consequence is almost always greater stability and unity, rather than social disintegration. ZAPU devolution of power is meant to correct this disparate caused at Zimbabwe’s independence ZANU PF government. Devolution is a successful case in India, Spain, Mexico, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States of America and Nigeria. By contrast, countries like Sudan, Iraq, Central African Republic, Rwanda, Somalia, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka have paid a heavy price in civil war and massive violence for the failure to accommodate aspirations for devolution.
It is in this light that ZAPU views constitutional political and administrative devolution a propensity to embrace diverse social, political, tribal and racial groups by sincerely tapping on the strength of what diversity can achieve for the development of Zimbabwe as recognition of diversity instills as sense of belonging and pride to be Zimbabwean.
Devolution of power can be interpreted as:
Power to the people by giving them certain national legislative powers at lower levels of governance
Multi-party democracy prospers under devolution of power. Meaningful political participation is devolved to the grass roots.
There should be governance by majority rule and by consent. The constitution is supreme and the law is respected. The results of the elections should be respected and only elected members seat in parliament.
Local services for local solutions: The service delivery and local investment are the prerogative of the local legislatures.
Local ownership of local resources: The local resources are an investment for local communities, acting as vehicle for industrial growth and employment for the local population. This approach helps in encouraging indigenous entrepreneurship participation in the economy.
Constitution by the people and for the people: Governance by the will of the people: People are central in policy formulation, decision making and policy implementation from lower levels to high levels of governance. It’s people centred governance
National governance built around local needs, aspirations, human & social justice, security, national and international obligations
In devolution of power, the government does not:
- Create jobs; people create jobs. While there are jobs in the civil service, government creates conditions that are conducive to investment and employment creation
- Lead the people; people lead the government. People tell the government what they need using established forms of communication and through devolved assembles. A consultative approach and exchange of views is important using established formal devolved communication structures and channels for expression of opinions and needs
- Make the law; people make the law through a process of consultative forums and referendums. The government helps its citizens by formulating the laws that are desired by the people; interpreting and implementing those laws to protect and safe guard the rights of citizens to achieve justice for all.
The ownership of the land and its resource belongs to the people. Everybody has a stake in the ownership of the land.
Devolution, under ZAPU offers real and practical localism in tackling local economic, social and environmental issues. It challenges local assemblies to be innovative; to be radical; to seek to achieve and deliver better results at the local level which joins up to improve the economy of the country as a whole.
ZAPU sincerely believes that devolution of power is a source of tackling unemployment, economic marginalisation, poverty, tribal tensions and migration of people from less economic active regions to industrialised regions
ZAPU strives to take advantage of several advantages that come with devolution of power. Devolution of power allows provincial and local assemblies autonomy within the scope of national unity and self-determination; people from different provinces control resources within their locality and transform them at the pace determined by them; It grants special recognition to peoples with strong identities within the state and can make them feel at ease with their identity and to be proud of the cultural heritage and the culture of others, patriotic to their country and welling to safe guard and defend it. Parliament remains sovereign. The devolved institutions have political legitimacy and are a vital part of governance.
Researched and compiled by Themba Mthethwa