LOCAL authorities, which have become political battlegrounds and havens of gamesmanship that has affected service delivery, have been told to shelve ways of the past and serve residents and ratepayers in a non-partisan manner.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Speaking at a luncheon to mark the opening of the First Session of the Ninth Parliament hosted by the Local Government ministry, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said councils were engines of development and could, therefore, not afford to be side-tracked by political games.
“Let us put aside our political party inclinations and work collectively in unity, love and harmony for the good of our people. I equally urge our traditional leaders and the whole sub local governance structure to continue preaching peace, love and unity within our societies,” Mnangagwa said.
He said government would soon introduce changes in the Urban Councils Act to ensure councils had more power in discharging their duties.
“Devolution means the delegation of power or authority as central government decentralises its governance, service delivery and representative role to the provinces, districts, local and sub local government structures. It amounts to delegating roles, time, apparatus and accountability,” Mnangagwa said.
“As I have pronounced, the requisite pieces of legislation will be amended to align with the Constitution. Thus the constitutional provisions on devolution which emphasise on efficiency and effectiveness, inclusivity, participatory and sharing of local national resources will be upheld and enhanced.”
Local Government minister July Moyo reminded mayors, councillors and provincial councils that even as they held power in their jurisdictions, Mnangagwa remained in charge.
“Zimbabwe is a unitary State and, therefore, what we derive from the national executive, national Parliament and the judiciary is cascaded to all the provinces and all the 92 local authorities of our country,” he said.