Mozambican NGO decries proposed constitutional changes on decentralization as limited

nsnbc : The Mozambican NGO The Centre for Public Integrity (CIP) said that the proposal for decentralisation of government power presented last week by the country’s president leaves provincial and district assemblies with only “limited powers”.

Mozambique map _DW“Provincial and district assemblies will have limited powers, in some cases less power than municipal assemblies,” says the CIP, based on the document deposited in the Assembly of the Republic by Filipe Nyusi, the head of state.

The proposed revision of the constitution is part of the peace agreement between Renamo and Afonso Dhlakama on one hand and the governing Frelimo and Felipe Nyusi on the other.

The main novelty in the proposal is the appointment of the provincial governors and district administrators by their respective assemblies instead of by central authorities, which theoretically opens doors to greater participation by political parties not in government.

Felipe Nyusi and Alfonso Dhlakama during a meeting in Sofala in 2017.

Felipe Nyusi and Alfonso Dhlakama during a meeting in Sofala in 2017.

However, the CIP questions the powers that these new decentralized bodies and posts will have. The proposal for constitutional revision states that taxation, defense, security, public order, mineral resources and energy, natural resources, inland waters and the sea are powers which cannot be delegated, and will remain within the ambit of central government.

Agriculture, fisheries, food security, land management, transport, environment, forests, housing, primary health care, education, tourism, rural development and local planning, among others, will be subject to decentralisation.

The proposal for constitutional revision is now with a parliamentary commission, which is expected to issue an opinion in early March, before the document is discussed by parliament.

F/AK – nsnbc 15.02.2018

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