A constitution is defined by Wikipedia as a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed.
When these principles are written down into a single document or set of legal documents, those documents may be said to embody a written constitution. If they are written down in a single comprehensive document, it is said to embody a codified constitution.
Every country needs a constitution as it is a guide of how the state affair should be run and acts as a protection to its citizens.
Zimbabwe, like any other country on earth, it has its own set of written rules that were approved in May 2013 by the parliament.
However, despite the approval by the parliament, there are some of the new constitution’s clauses that have not yet implemented and are said to be effective after 10 years.
One of these clauses is Chapter 14-264 which is about Devolution of Power. The chapter says,
“Whenever appropriate governmental powers and responsibilities must be devolved to provincial and metropolitan councils and local authorities which are competent to carry out those responsibilities efficiently and effectively. One of the objectives is is to give powers of local governance to the people and enhance their participation in decision making”
Lack of giving life to this chapter has made life difficult for most Zimbabwean citizens.
This is what has forced some organisations in Manicaland Province to petition the parliament to ask them to give life to the Chapter 14-264.
Some of these organizations include Residents association and other civic society organizations like the Mutasa Youth Forum Trust, CAPZIM AND Christian Youth Network.
During a recent meeting organized by Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust and Public Policy Research Institute of Zimbabwe, Civic society organization expressed their thoughts on the issue of Devolution in the constitution.
Provincial coordinator of CAPZIM Jonathan Chindewere said Devolution will enable their needs to be adequately catered for at low cost.
“At the moment, we are going to Harare to access most High Court services and issues like emergency passports. Zinara collects revenue and sends it to central Government of which if it was done locally we will then be able to deal with issues of potholes and roads rehabilitation. But lack of political will on the Government is slowing down implementation,” he said.
Dadiso Brian Maseva Director of Christian Youth Network echoed similar sentiments saying “We need to petition Government because as Youth we are using lots of money we do not have to access services in Harare for example Transport operating licenses etc. If devolution is put into effect it would be much easier for us and minimize costs”.
The Youth in Mutasa are marginalized in terms of employment opportunities,”
Commenting on the issue is Lloyd Munguma, is Programs Director for Mutasa Youth Forum trust who said “Something has to be done so Devolution can be enacted fully” and that the petition is welcome and “we are in support of it”.
Meanwhile, people are anxiously waiting for the parliament’s response to the petition.