Government has appointed commissioners to run local authorities countrywide to avert a leadership vacuum as the newly-elected councillors are yet to take oath of office.
In Harare, government appointed a commission chaired by Bella Manyakara and has other members who include lawyer Shingai Mutumbwa and one Kampila C.
BY XOLISANI NCUBE
Although the new Constitution does not provide for the appointment of commissions to run municipalities, Local Government minister July Moyo appointed the three to assist management run council affairs until the elected councillors were sworn in.
“The commission will preside over Harare on an interim basis until the new council is sworn in. The commission will not make any far-reaching decisions on behalf of council without consulting government and shall not engage in land or stands allocations,” read a statement from council.
“According to a government memo, the commission is barred from entering into agreements involving joint ventures and will not engage in acquisition or disposal of council property.”
In the past, such commissions have been used to undertake questionable decisions such as recruiting new council workers, who would normally be Zanu PF activists as well as sell land to senior council workers for a song, prejudicing the local authority of revenue.
This time around, the government has stated that: “The commission will not recruit new staff and is barred from dealing with tenders”.
Residents’ associations and opposition parties have accused the Zanu PF government of using the commissions to fleece residents and loot public funds.