Devolution Play Premiered In Bulawayo

The play showing why some provinces like Matabeleland are demanding devolution of power was done by Khayisa Arts Group of Mpopoma and was premiered last Tuesday at Amakhosi Theater Centre on Tuesday.

The devolution play dwells on the administrative and public service provision failures of the centralised system.

In the play, an old woman had to travel from Lupane to Harare to get a passport which was also her ‘passport’ to economic freedom as she was a cross boarder trader.

The play also touches on health, education and citizen participation in policy formulation in the current dispensation and the would-be situation in a devolved model of governance.

The play comes amidst calls by the two formations of the MDC, human rights groups, pressure groups and churches for the urgent implementation of devolution of power in Zimbabwe to stop the continued marginalisation of some provinces.

Devolution of power is one of the topical issues that dominated the debate during outreach meetings by the Constitution Select Committee (COPAC) with widespread calls for its adoption especially in Matabeleland, Midlands and Manicaland where there are diamonds.

Groups calling for devolution have said the system of governance would remove all bottlenecks and red tape created by the current centralist governance system, politically and economically empowering Zimbabweans regionally and encouraging cultural and social diversity.

Some civic groups accuse the central government of robbing resource rich regions to develop preferred provinces, notably Matabeleland and diamond rich Manicaland which lags behind in terms of development.

But Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party have condemned devolution as divisive.

In one of his 88th birthday interviews serialised by the State media, Mugabe declared he would not allow devolution to be included in the new national constitution.

“We don’t want to divide the country into small pieces because it will cause disunity among our people. Those things are done in big countries, not to a small country like ours.

“We once had this, under the Federation which included Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and Nyasaland (Malawi), ´,” Mugabe was quoted saying.