Bulawayo residents to embark on devolution project

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BULAWAYO Progressive Residents’ Association (BPRA) says it is embarking on a nationwide project to lobby the government to enact devolution of power as a system of governance.

Report by Ronald Moyo

In a statement on Monday, BPRA programmes and advocacy manager Emmanuel Ndlovu said the association would in the next four months embark on a nationwide project called The Local Governance Project to collect views of Zimbabweans on devolution of power, culminating in the production of a proposal document that would be used to lobby lawmakers.

“The local governance project aims to ensure that the devolution of power adopted by the country is based on the principles of active citizen participation, transparency and accountability,” he said.

“BPRA believes that anchoring the design of devolution on citizen participation will ensure a local governance system that is developmental in nature, where local authorities shall be able to formulate pro-poor policies that would help meet local needs and promote social and economic development of communities.”

“The project will start this month and consist of consultation meetings to be held throughout the country’s 10 provinces in collaboration with the combined Harare Residents’ Association.

It will also consist of a local governance conference aimed at bringing stakeholders from across the country to discuss their views regarding the devolution architecture that the country should adopt”, Ndlovu said.

“The conference will also serve as a means of validating the views collected during the nationwide consultation process,” he added.

“Lastly, a white paper to be used to lobby lawmakers will be produced.”

Ndlovu said the project seeks to establish the preferred types of government, the geographic units of governance, the distribution of functions and responsibilities of provincial councils, allocation of resources, institutions of governance and the relationship between central governance and provincial councils.