The Myth of Devolution in Zimbabwe: The Reality Post – May 2013

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Mkhululi Nyathi
Matshobana Ncube


The 2013 Constitution of Zimbabwe provides for a devolved system of government, comprising national, provincial/ metropolitan and local governments. On the face of it, this is a departure from the Independence Constitution which did not provide for devolution of power. This paper, however, seeks to demonstrate that there is in fact no marked difference between the current framework and the pre-2013 constitutional dispensation. Weak and unsatisfactory legal and constitutional provisions on governance at national, provincial and local government levels, combined with the antidevolution stance of the current ZANU-PF government, have conspired to make devolution of power nothing but a mirage. It is contended that a truly devolved system of governance in Zimbabwe may be realized through constitutional amendments establishing realistic sub-national tiers of governments that are democratically legitimate and have clear law making and implementation powers of their own.

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