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Refereed articles

Devolution of power in Zimbabwe’s new constitutional order: Opportunities and potential constraints – pg. 289.

Zimbabwe adopted a new constitution in May 2013 replacing the negotiated transitional Lancaster House constitution. This new constitution introduced devolution of power as a new governance model for Zimbabwe to replace deconcentration on the premise that devolution is a more democratic, citizen-centred, participatory, more transparent, accountable and locally relevant development focused governance system. This paper examines the opportunities and potential constraints associated with this transition from deconcentration to a three tier devolved system of governance. It does this through answering questions including the following: To what extent will this reconfiguration of the state from centralisation to devolution give citizens more power to elect representatives who understand and champion their local development needs? Will local needs, aspirations, and influence drive the development agenda? Which consequentialist and deontological benefits will be derived from devolution of power? Is devolution going to influence equitable and fair exploitation of local resources for the benefit of all communities including “marginalised” provinces such as Matabeleland, Midlands and Manicaland? Does an anti-devolutionist ZANU-PF dominated government have the political will to fully implement devolution?

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