Biti party appoints shadow councillors

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ZIMBABWE – Tendai Biti-led opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has intensified its rural penetration, introducing the concept of shadow councillors, as a strategy to reach the grassroots and keep the incumbents on their toes ahead of the 2018 elections. 

PDP spokesperson, Jacob Mafume said the concept had already been introduced in Mashonaland East province amid plans to roll it out to all parts of the country by year end.

“The concept is currently being done in our stronghold areas and provinces and we are set to introduce the concept nationally,” Mafume said, adding shadow MPs would also be introduced shortly.

“This helps us in building strong structures ahead of 2018, as we will also avoid jostling for positions during election time. But the main issue is that we wanted to appoint shadow MPs as soon as yesterday and we are in the process of doing that.”

PDP Mashonaland East provincial chairman, Langton Matuku told NewsDay that his team had so far covered Chikomba and Murewa districts.

“We are achieving this by setting up PDP full ward structures and appointing, in addition to a full ward structure of 42 members, a shadow ward councillor. We have covered some ground in Mashonaland East,” he said.

“As PDP, we realise and are convinced that the majority of councillors, once elected, have neglected their duty, becoming highly irresponsible and unaccountable to residents as to their duty to provide the critical services to residents. There is no supervision from higher authorities to ensure they perform to residents’ expectations, neither is there any means whatsoever to check and oversee their performance,” Matuku said.

“Instead, the councillors engage in corrupt and unbecoming activities with impunity and without challenge. Therefore, we believe if government, through the Local Government ministry, cannot provide the checks and balances, we will gladly and dutifully provide a parallel structure to show how we believe the services should be delivered to residents. We are going in the playing field to contest the bona fide councillor as a means of forcing competency. This is permissible in the interim rather than wait for a by-election or election to force accountability.”

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