(Last Updated on April 30, 2021 by GERALD NCUBE)
HARARE – Opposition MDC Alliance has condemned the recently appointed Local Government Board saying it was an unconstitutional structure meant to disrupt administrative matters within local councils.
Local Government Minister July Moyo recently announced the appointment of a seven-member board led by Stephen Chakaipa.
The board, according to Moyo will be responsible for ensuring the efficient running of local councils including the appointment of senior staff including the Town Clerk.
However, the country’s biggest opposition which controls most of the urban councils says this is yet another effort by the central government to interfere with the operations within local authorities.
“The Minister of Local Government, Mr July Moyo, has purported to appoint a Local Government Board whose stated purpose is to appoint, regulate conditions of service and terminate the employment of senior council staff including town clerks and directors who implement key decisions within local authorities…
“As repeatedly stated in our Reform Agenda, the Local Government Board is an unconstitutional structure whose existence is to serve no purpose to enable the central government to interfere with administrative matters in councils. It must be abolished. In terms of the Constitution, local authorities must enjoy political, fiscal and administrative autonomy so that citizens can enjoy prime service delivery,” said the party’s secretary for Local Government Sesil Zvidzai.
Zvezda further said the board has in the past been used to appoint ZANU-PF functionaries who are corrupt and used to disrupt the smooth functioning of local authorities.
He further urged the ZANU-PF and minister Moyo to respect the Constitution particularly the devolution aspect outlined in Chapter 14.
Over the years, there has been a continuous struggle to control local authorities, as a result, a lot of blame game between the MDC and ZANU-PF on who is responsible for the poor service delivery within city councils.
While the ruling party has blamed the opposition, MDC Alliance has constantly highlighted that most of the power is still concentrated on the central government through the local government ministry which has the power to appoint senior management staff and budget approvals among other critical duties.