Zimbabwe: Victory for Residents On Devolution

16 September 2020

The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA), Community Water Alliance (CWA) and the Member of Parliament Rusty Markham represented by Zimbabwe Human Rights Lawyer Honorable Tendai Biti, won the High Court Case on Devolution yesterday presided by Chief Justice Edith Mushore.

The order which was being sought by the applicants was that;

The Ministry of Local Government to enact the laws envisaged in Chapter 14 of the Constitution and Section 301 of the Constitution actualizing and bringing in devolution.

The Ministry of Local Government gazetted the Bill or Bills necessary to give effect to provisions of Chapter 14 of the Constitution and Section 301 of the Constitution.

The High Court declared the actions by the Minister of Local Government, July Moyo, of allocating ZW$400 million in 2019 and ZW$6 billion in 2020 using a formula only known to himself for different local authorities in Zimbabwe to be declared unlawful and in breach of the Constitution.

The allocations done by The Minister of Local Government, July Moyo were declared a nullity because they were done in the absence of a legal framework to set up devolution and in the absence of metropolitan and provincial councils.

In October 2019 and November 2019 CHRA engaged the Ministry of Local Government requesting information on the policy framework that was guiding the allocations of the devolution funds but to no avail.

After failing to get a response from the Ministry of Local Government CHRA, HAMREF and Norton Residents Alliance petitioned Parliament calling for the enactment of laws governing revenue allocations and recommended shelving of the allocation of "devolution funds" until supporting legislation was put in place.

CHRA welcomes the Court Judgement as it provides an opportunity for residents to input to the legislation that will guide devolution and restoration of the rule of law in our local governance system.

Source: Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)

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