WOZA Members Assaulted over Devolution Demos
On Saturday WOZA embarked on massive protests in Bulawayo by staging simultaneous group sit-in protests blocking main roads leading into the city centre, but armed police officers and some in plain clothes descended on the protesters and violently dispersed them.
“We had embarked on peaceful protests demanding the inclusion of devolution of power in the new constitution and most of our members were beaten by police.
“We demand a devolution system that gives us the right to select our own provincial and council representatives. We also want powers to make local decisions based on our views about control and use of our local resources,” said Williams.
Williams also said WOZA will continue embarking on peaceful protests occupying streets until devolution of power is adopted.
Early this year President Robert Mugabe rejected “devolution of power” saying Zimbabwe is too small for that and it will also divide Zimbabweans.
Zanu PF spin doctor and politburo member Jonathan Moyo also castigated devolution of power recently saying the debate on devolution, has been falsely morphed into a constitutional issue carrying all the baggage of federalism which has become a dirty word in the Zimbabwean constitutional debate.
The Zanu PF Tsholotsho MP also declared that Zanu PF will not support or be part of any draft constitution that seeks devolution in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe Human rights organisations, civic society groups, pressure groups and other opposition political parties have called for the urgent implementation of devolution of power in Zimbabwe to stop the continued marginalisation of some provinces.
They are saying devolution of power is the only way of uplifting some of the country’s provinces that have remained marginalised since Independence in 1980.
Some civic groups accuse the central government of robbing resource rich regions to develop preferred provinces, notably Matabeleland which lags behind in terms of development.