(Last Updated on April 12, 2021 by GERALD NCUBE)
HARARE – Opposition MDC Alliance says it is extremely concerned over the recent reports that ZANU-PF is planning to send council employees throughout the country for a national ideological training program.
MDC Alliance Secretary for Local Government, Sesil Zvidzai said senior council staff including Town Clerks were being forced to attend these trainings.
“The MDC Alliance is extremely concerned at the latest move by ZANU PF to take council staff members throughout the country through a partisan ideological orientation program at the ZANU PF School of ideology. Council employees such as chief executive officers, town clerks and town secretaries are being forced to enroll in the partisan ideological training program,” he said.
Zvidzai said the program was aimed at causing civil servants to pursue narrow partisan agenda while pointing out that this was prohibited by the Constitution.
“The Constitution of Zimbabwe clearly prohibits civil servants and senior employees of councils from being partisan. It is evident that taking these functionaries through a political party school of ideology intends to cause these civil servants to pursue a partisan ZANU PF agenda in circumstances where the law and basic principles of corporate governance require them to be impartial, professional and focused on service delivery- not the pursuit of toxic politics in the execution of their duties.
“The improper conflation of State and the party is one of the main reasons why there is no appetite on the part of Mr Mnangagwa’s regime to implement the constitutional imperative of devolution. This has hamstrung the operation of councils and led to poor service delivery. Council staff are now controlled by ZANU PF which has exerted undue influence in matters of staff recruitment, procurement, budgeting and service delivery. The planned ideological training is designed to brainwash and entrench the dysfunctional state of local authorities,” Zvidzai added.
Opposition MDC Alliance called for an immediate end of these planned training programs.
ZANU-PF and MDC Alliance have over the years been at loggerheads over the running of local authorities.
While the opposition party has for years now won most of the country’s urban council seats, they have lamented that the central government, which is largely controlled by ZANU-PF has an appetite to interfere with the running of these councils.
The powers given to the ministry of Local Government have been a point of debate between the two with the ministry said to be stretching its powers to the point of hindering local councils from efficiently operating independently.