Wednesday, September 22, 2021
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Zanu PF bid to seize urban councils ‘disingenuous’

Constantino Chiwenga

…as Mnagagwa moves to dissolve
‘opposition-run’ councils

Terrence Ndowora

President
Emmerson Mnangagwa seems to be living in the past after he blasted poorly-run local
authorities during his Independence Day speech, saying they were causing misery
to people by failing to provide optimum services.

“They
can’t continue electing councillors who do not deliver, when councilors are
elected they are supposed to deliver services to the people who elected them, and
not bring misery.

“But
because we have seen that they have failed, this is why under the Second Republic,
we have now instituted an inter-ministerial Taskforce, led by the Honorable
Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, to deal with, overriding the authority of
these councils, so that we can provide to our people the services which these
local authorities have failed to provide, so as central government we are
intervening using central government resources to do so,” said Mnangangwa.

Masvingo
Urban is operating with six councillors out of 10, after four others were
removed due to the infighting in the opposition MDC formations.

The
recall of councillors as well as Members of Parliament (MPs) was widely
interpreted as a result of machinations by Mnangagwa and his ruling party who
are bent on destroying credible opposition to their long rule.

MDC-T
president Douglas Mwonzora sacked the four councillors earlier this year, and
the city has had to do away with the audit committee as its composition and
quorum could not be reached.

In
Harare, Mutare and many other urban local authorities, several councillors were
also recalled by Mwonzora thereby affecting service delivery in one way or the
other.

When
asked to give his opinion on Mnangagwa’s latest political posturing, analyst Rashweat
Mukundu said Mnangagwa was a hypocrite and should not always speak with
political intentions.

“It’s
hypocrisy for the President to accuse the local authorities yet their hands are
tied up, the government incapacitated them, he shouldn’t speak with political
intentions.

“The
President should make sure the country’s economy is running. Right now, people
can’t afford to pay rates because of economic challenges leading to failure of
councillors to deliver better services to people.

“He
(Mnangagwa) should retrace where the real problem is coming from not blaming
the councillors,” said Mukundu.

Media
scholar and political analyst, Dr Last Alfandiga said government could not
honestly blame the opposition for poorly-run local authorities as there were
many other factors at play.

“The
councillors are not the ones who run the local authorities; they come more or
less as advisors. It’s rather the duty of the council’s administration to do
the day -to-day management of council affairs.

It’s
a political move to win voters but at the same time violating people’s rights
of representation because these councillors who were recalled represent the
people who elected them,” said Alfandika.

Another
analyst, Mabweazara Mugodzwa said the move was a strategy by government to vest
the ministerial taskforce to usurp power from elected representatives.

“It’s
a political act aimed at empowering the ministerial taskforces to run councils
on behalf the ruling party and its leadership.

“They
are responsible for the dismissal of the councillors and are, at the same time,
expecting councils to deliver excellent services to the people. This is not
possible because they are crippled,” said Mugodzwa.

He
said it was disingenuous that government had suspended by-elections and now
expected a smooth flow of business in council without taking responsibility in
its own role in creating the mess.

TellZimNewshttps://tellzim.com
TellZim News is the leading news organization in the Southern region. It provides candid, balanced and timely news from the communities. Keeping it real. Committed to tell Zimbabwe.

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