Devolution of power, which will give autonomy to provincial councils to run some projects, is slowly taking shape with cabinet yesterday approving the Provincial Council and Administration (Amendment) Bill which was presented by Local Government Minister July Moyo.
Devolution is already five years behind as it was incorporated in the 2013 Constitution and should have been effected by the President Robert Mugabe administration which assumed a new term in August 2013.
The amendment bill was prompted by the need to align the current Provincial Councils and Administration Act with the provisions of the 2013 Constitution which advocates for the devolution of power to provincial and metropolitan councils.
Last week, July Moyo told Parliament that two bills to facilitate devolution, one which relates to financial provision and the other to the setting up of structures, will be tabled before the end of this year.
He, however, declined to say what would happen to those elected to the provincial councils in 2013 and this year.
Those elected in 2013 were never sworn in and their term of office has technically expired.
“I honestly cannot answer that question and the Hon. Member knows that. If the Hon. Member wants to put the question so that consultations can take place, so that I bring a comprehensive answer which is collective, I can do that, but I cannot answer that without instruction,” Moyo said.
Opposition parties have questioned the appointment of provincial affairs ministers saying this is against the proposed devolution.
All nine ministers are from the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front while logically the ministers for Harare and Bulawayo should be from the Movement for Democratic Change as it controls the metropolitan provinces.
The provincial affairs minister for Harare has not been appointed yet.