Saturday 15 December 2018


The Ninth Parliament of Zimbabwe officially opens on Tuesday with significant changes to Chapter 14 of the Constitution set to be introduced.

The amendments are designed to streamline the structure of Provincial and Metropolitan Councils as part of the devolution plan being pursued by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Government.

Chapter 14 provides for National Assembly representatives to sit in both Parliament and the councils. Parliament has oversight over the councils, which in essence means Chapter 14 of the Constitution as currently subsisting asks MPs to monitor themselves in this regard.

Authorities are also wary of creating new and bloated structure that could further strain an already overstretched fiscus.

Government plans to introduce wholesale changes to the national governance system by rolling out comprehensive decentralisation and devolution of power and authority to provinces.

Authorities are crafting the Provincial and Metropolitan Councils Bill, which will be tabled before the Ninth Parliament.

Primarily though, the Ninth Parliament will be seized with enacting legislation that drives Zimbabwe’s development aspirations, particularly attracting investment and improving the ease of doing business.

President Mnangagwa will officially open the First Session of the Ninth Parliament on Tuesday, and present his first State of the Nation Address before a joint sitting of the National Assembly and Senate.

He will outline the legislative agenda underpinning the Second Republic.
Justice, Legal and parliamentary Affairs Minister Mr Ziyambi Ziyambi told The Sunday Mail that an amendment to the Constitution was inevitable.

He said: “The way (Provincial and Metropolitan Councils) are structured at the moment, all the Honourable MPs within the province sit in the Provincial Councils with all the chiefs and Provincial Councilors.

“You sit there in Parliament, you allocate a budget to the Provincial Council, you go back to the province and sit in the Provincial Council and determine how the budget you allocated is used. Then you go back to Parliament and play an oversight role to things that you have been doing.

“So, perhaps it is one area that I believe the Minister of Local Government will be able to tackle and bring it to us so we look at how we can amend the Constitution and deal with that.
“It’s just not appropriate … These are some of the issues that need cleaning up, forget about the Provincial Ministers.”

He said a law was being crafted to facilitate operations of Ministers of State in the devolved governance system.

He said duties of Ministers of State would be directly linked to growing the provincial economy in line with the national development plan.

“In fact Provincial Ministers are actually going to enhance the devolution because they will be key critical players in ensuring that they help in the growth of the provincial GDPs,” said Minister Ziyambi. Sunday Mail


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