Dumiso Dabengwa, the Zapu president and Callistus Ndlovu, a Zanu PF central committee member were reacting to renewed calls for Matabeleland to become a separate state.
A new party, the Matabeleland Liberation Front (MLF) was formed last year by South African-based Zimbabweans who are advocating for secession claiming the region had been marginalised for too long.
The region already has two hardline parties — the Patriotic Union of Matabeleland (Puma) and Zapu Federal Party — who want some form of autonomy for the region.
Even some politicians in Zanu PF privately favour devolution of power.
It was revealed recently that the late Matabeleland North governor and national hero Welshman Mabhena once sought British support for a separate Matabeleland state, citing continued marginalisation.
Dabengwa said they feared the views of people in Matabeleland on devolution were not properly captured during the outreach on the new constitution.
“Our fear is that if the forthcoming constitution does not address the issue of systems of governance in a manner that satisfies all the people of Zimbabwe, that will give impetus to those calling for the division of the country,” Dabengwa told a recent Zapu rally in the city.
“For now we believe the government must be given the chance to correct anomalies in the system of governance.”
Dabengwa said it was important to devolve power to the provinces so as to address the unbalanced distribution of resources.
“When we talk about devolution of power, we mean people must benefit from the resources that God gave them in their respective areas,” he said.
“The people of Marange must benefit from their diamonds. That is what devolution of power will address.
“Tongas in Binga must benefit from the Kariba Dam because it was built on their land.
“They survived from tilling the valleys of the Zambezi and were evicted to make way for the dam and animals.”
The former Zipra commander said there were projects like the Bulawayo-Nkayi Road, which had taken more than 20 years to complete, that gave people in the region an impression that government was not interested in the development of their areas.
“If there was a provincial government in Matabeleland North they would have prioritised that project and got it finished long back because that is the road that must bring grain from Nkayi and Gokwe to feed the people in Bulawayo.
“It is a very critical project for the development of the whole region.”
Ndlovu said devolution had to be clearly articulated in the constitution for it to be effective.
The two Movement for Democratic Change formations have also called for devolution of power but distanced themselves from calls for the creation of a Matabeleland state.
Analysts say the secessionists have been buoyed by the resent referendum that resulted in the division of Sudan into two countries.