MDC-T secretary for local government Eddie Cross says the opposition party has not been equipping its councillors with information to help them carry out their mandate more effectively and improve on local governance.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Cross, who is currently on a tour of the country meeting MDC-T councillors to explain constitutional changes in the operations of local authorities, said the absence of a platform for city fathers and party leadership to regularly meet was largely to blame for inefficiency in council management.
“The councillors don’t meet regularly with the top party leadership and, therefore, sometimes they are not in touch with our policies. I am meeting them so that we can share policy and appreciate the problems they are facing,” he said.
“We have neglected them in the past, but this is a challenge that we are now addressing, this is why I am going around the country meeting our councillors.”
MDC-T councillors have been accused of presiding over the rot at most local authorities where poor service delivery, corruption and mismanagement has been rampant over the years.
Cross said while indiscipline among councillors was also to blame for some of the rot, the majority of council problems could be traced to the economic woes facing the country.
“If you look at the problems faced by Chitungwiza and Redcliff, you cannot blame the councillors because even if they have brilliant management skills and ideas, they can’t solve the financial challenges they are facing,” he said.
“Redcliff cannot rise if the issue of Ziscosteel is not resolved because they have no finances to deal with service delivery and payment of wages and salaries. This is a national governance problem which needs central government to solve.”
Cross said the party was worried that MDC-T councillors who were the majority in Redcliff had voted to hand over the poor residents to debt collectors over non-payment of rates and levies.
“This is where you see the indiscipline, the departure from party policy by our councillors who chose to hand over the poor people of Redcliff to debt collectors. I will be having a separate meeting with the Redcliff councillors so that we can address this matter,” he said.
Last year Redcliff locked out over 30 families from their homes over outstanding rentals.