RESIDENTS’ associations throughout the country are up in arms with the Local Government ministry after it recently ordered all local authorities to buy top-of the-range vehicles for sitting mayors and council chairpersons.
The directive was made by secretary in the Local Government ministry George Mlilo, in a circular dated October 13 2014.
However, the residents’ associations expressed shock at the directive which came at a time most councils were failing to provide efficient service delivery due to cashflow constraints.
Kadoma Residents’ Association chairperson Rabbi Mutizira said it was not justified for government to pile an additional burden on the cash-strapped councils.
“It’s just not fair. There is no service delivery to talk and just recently they (council officials) bought themselves Ford Rangers and now they are budgeting for a Jeep for the mayor.
“If they go ahead, we will be forced to demonstrate because that is the only language people in Zimbabwe understand,” Mutizira said.
A Chinhoyi councillor who refused to be identfied for fear of victimisation said mayors just like councilors were not full-time employees and were therefore not entitled to mayoral cars. “How can a part-time member have the luxury of a vehicle when the employee is not getting his/her salary?
“After all, we are just the same save that we elect him to lead the proceedings in the chamber,” the councilor said.
“But the mayors are not moved by the plight of the residents as they have already budgeted for the vehicles in the 2015 budget.”
But Chinhoyi mayor Test Michaels was undeterred by residents’ concerns saying he was already warming up to taking delivery of the mayoral car.
“We are budgeting for it,” Michaels said.
Kariba mayor Trace Ndoro said her council factored the vehicle in its 2015 budget.
“Yes, we budgeted it for this year, but you can ask my managers on how far they have gone with that issue,” Ndoro said.