The Nelson Chamisa led MDC Alliance has decried the interference of the central government minister July Moyo in the council’s business, New Zimbabwe reports.
The party represented by the secretary for local government Cecil Zvidzai described the interference from the government as fraudulent and said the government has an appetite for local authorities:
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The relationship between central government and provincial governments, between central government (July Moyo’s ministry) and local authorities can best be described as fraud with issues of interference, particularly at local authority level
The central government has a serious appetite for local authorities. This is a problem that we across the political divide have. We should deal with this if Zimbabwe has to move on.”
Look at issues of procurement. A lot of people talk about corruption at local authorities, but unbeknown to many, procurement in all local authorities is controlled by the central government and unlike in the past where the councils used to have procurement boards, those have been abolished and replaced by procurement committees of staff. This is a big problem.
Staff recruitment in all local authorities is done by the central government. Budgets as you all know are passed by the central government. In most cases, local authorities lose revenue due to delays by central governments in passing budgets. Innovations by councils are delayed, truncated and stopped by the central government,
Zvidzai further called the situation poisonous and said:
Naturally this is a poisoned environment which shows that the parent is not taking its responsibility. The most dangerous issue at the moment is the politically polarised environment in our matrix. This leads to inequity around transfers and functionalisation of committees through uncalled for illegal recalls.
The arrests of councillors in the middle of meetings in the chambers where the most important business of the people is transacted is not acceptable at all
Local councils should be run by elected people only. The Constitution is very clear on how local authorities should be managed.
The Urban Councils Act and the Rural District Councils Act and the Regional Town and Country Town Planning Act have led to a highly contentious issue as these are not friendly to the provisions of the Constitution and there lies the genesis of our problems in this country.
We went for a referendum in 2013 where 97% of the population voted Yes to all the provisions of the Constitution including devolution and seven years down the line, there is no appetite to make sure the demands of the Constitution are implemented.
Currently there is a lot of mistrust. You can touch the mistrust. You can see it; it is there and this makes it difficult to deliver. The local government should exist at the pleasure of people.
The MDC Alliance controls many urban councils countrywide while Khupe and the MDC T Now controls a few councils after the Supreme Court made her the interim MDC T leader. Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume once stated that interference from the government is crippling councils.
More: New Zimbabwe