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Dabengwa backtracks on Mnangagwa

ZAPU leader Dumiso Dabengwa says he did not endorse President Emmerson Mnangagwa as widely claimed, but only acknowledged his commitment to devolution of power.


The former Home Affairs minister had last week told journalists in Bulawayo that Mnangagwa should be given the benefit of doubt on devolution.

The statements were interpreted to mean he had endorsed Mnangagwa, but Dabengwa on Friday said the opposite was true.

“On the issue of devolution, all I was saying was that we have a de-jure government, a government which is there according to the laws of the land,” he said.

“The highest court in the country, which is the Constitutional Court, gave Mnangagwa the right to form the government and all I was saying is that in spite of our feelings about the manner in which the elections were carried out…we now have this de-jure government.”

Dabengwa added: “I was saying let us accept the gesture, and my plea that we accept that gesture for the implementation of devolution did not and does not mean accepting or calling on our people to then embrace and endorse this government.”

In a state of the nation address last week, Mnangagwa announced that the Provincial and Metropolitan Councils Bill that might lead to devolution of power would be tabled in Parliament.

The constitution guarantees devolution of power, but little or nothing has been done to operationalise the decentralisation of government.

Instead, former president Robert Mugabe and now his successor has appointed Provincial ministers of State.

Dabengwa said Zapu would rally its members and other stakeholders to lobby Parliament to ensure the Provincial and Metropolitan Councils Bill reflects the expectations of the people on the way devolution of power should be implemented.

“I don’t think that the expectations of the people on the way of implementation will be carried out does reflect what the people said during the constitution-making exercise,” he said.

“I, therefore, want to say that we need to put our points across and lobby Parliament to ensure that the implementation of devolution does carry the expectations of the people.”

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