President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday said that it was high time the ruling ZANU PF party wrestled all urban councils from the Nelson Chamisa-led MDC Alliance, accusing the opposition party of failing to deliver basic services to residents.
Addressing the first politburo meeting of the year at the ZANU PF headquarters in Harare, Mnangagwa urged Zimbabweans to vote MDC Alliance Councillors out of office come 2023. He said:
It has become obvious to all our people that the opposition-led councils have failed to deliver services to our people, we must vote them out of these councils.
… In all that we do, let us remain focused towards a resounding victory in 2023 elections and reclaim dominance in all the country’s provinces including urban areas.
However, MDC Alliance deputy spokesperson Clifford Hlatywayo blamed the central government for the rot at the local government level, saying councils do not exist in a vacuum.
Hlatywayo also accused the central government of sabotating local authorities by failing to approve their budgets so that they invest in service delivery. He said:
The performance of local authorities is subject to the performance of the national economy. Mnangagwa has failed to run the country and it is him who should go.
Right now, Harare for two consecutive years, has been working without a budget after the minister refused to approve.
Mnangagwa’s government has taken money for roads realised through vehicle licensing from councils. How are councils going to repair the roads?
On the perennial water challenges faced by urban dwellers, Hlatywayo said it was the government, through the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA), that has the mandate to construct water sources.
He added that it is not the MDC’s fault that the government has monopolised the production of water treatment chemicals, thus making it difficult for councils to provide water to residents.