President Emmerson Mnangagwa says his administration has demonstrated that it is serious about devolution by allocating $310 million in the 2019 budget for provincial and local tiers.
He said in his opinion devolution should not merely be about the redistribution to provinces, districts and communities of centrally held power; and about the redistribution of centrally managed resources, wealth and services to the same.
It should be about enjoining provinces, districts and communities to become active, lead actors in the creation of national wealth and jobs, using resources and opportunities found within their environs.
Writing in his weekly column in the Sunday Mail, President Mnangagwa said: “That changes the development model to one where growth and development are initiated and implemented by provinces, with central government playing facilitator and arbiter to the whole process.
“It is a departure from the hub-and-spokes model where everything starts and ends up with central Government.
“The one central and centralised hub gives way to several economic hubs, each of which is located within a province, and each of which derives impetus from resources found in that province.
“That way growth becomes spatially spread, thus allowing competitive partnerships within one national whole, and even development happening concurrently across all regions and communities.”
Mnangagwa said this also means that the way government runs presently has to change.
“Government will have to re-invent itself, drawing from experiences of countries like the People’s Republic of China where provinces have been transformed into major economic powerhouses not just within China itself, but globally,” he said.
“My visit to the Provinces of Anhui and Zhejiang revealed what must be done, indeed what we must learn and adapt to our own circumstances.”
Continued next page