(Last Updated on February 3, 2021 by GERALD NCUBE)
HARARE – The MDC Alliance has reiterated its position that the central government’s strong interference within local authorities was hindering the effective running of city councils.
Opposition party’s secretary for Local Government Sesel Zvidzai called out Local Government Minister July Moyo and Provincial Development Tafadzwa Muguti for their tight control of council operations which are disrupting its operations.
“The Minister of Local government must immediately stop interfering with the activities at Harare and let the City to employ qualified managers and Directors. The Provincial Development Coordinator, Mr Muguti should stop giving illegal orders to Council, causing disruption of Council meetings and let Council sit and exercise its oversight role on staff and make decisions for the good of the people.
“The Minister should lift the suspension of Mayor Mafume and His Deputy, we simply cannot afford to set Harare on autopilot for a single day without unbearable consequences. Alternatively, the disciplinary processes should be completed expeditiously. The Mayor, who we know is innocent can get back to work,” said Zvidzai.
Zvidzai bemoaned the massive recall exercise of elected officials by the Douglas Mwonzora led MDC-T which have paralysed councils while urging that by-elections be held to fill in the gaps and the immediate resolution of cases for those suspended.
“Since March 2020, Harare has lost 24 democratically elected MDC Alliance Councilors to illegal recalls by Khupe and Mwonzora in cahoots with Zanu PF…
“The gap caused by the illegal recalls of councillors is yawning widely. This has to be filled as a matter of urgency. Consequently, the illegal recalls should be reversed or by-elections should be run as soon as the COVID19 challenges are manageable. And these can be done with strict adherence to the World Health Organisation recommended protocols. Ironically failure to plug this yawning gap can lead to more deaths to Cholera and other gastrointestinal diseases which thrive during and post periods of heavy rains.
“All councillors and staff who have been barred from going to council should have their cases expeditiously dealt with at the courts or in internal processes so as to bring matters to finality for the good of council and the people. Weaponizing law to score cheap political points should just stop forthwith. No Councilor should be arrested or charged for simply attending a Committee or Full Council meetings,” he added.
The MDC Alliance and Central Government have continued to play blame game whenever service delivery issues are raised with the former lamenting tight grip imposed on local authorities by the latter through the Ministry of Local Government.