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Harare to devolve administration

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HARARE City Council has started working on reverting back to devolved administration, where district offices will meet and discuss with residents on service delivery in their specific areas, unlike the present set up, where all council business is administered from Town House.

BY PAIDAMOYO MUZULU

Mayor, Bernard Manyenyeni said the decision was made on Monday following a meeting with Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere, where they discussed the typhoid epidemic and other service delivery issues in the capital.

“At a very progressive meeting we held today (Monday) with minister Kasukuwere, we have converged on the urgent need to devolve a lot of municipal services to the respective district offices in the City of Harare,” he said.

Harare, in the past, used to have district offices that were headed by superintendents and most of the service delivery issues were offered at that level without going to Town House.

“This project will be fast-tracked and will bring some of the features of the old town management boards. There should be some outline in the next few weeks,” Manyenyeni said.

He said the new management system is meant to bring service closer to the people and would be creatively funded from the city council coffers.

“This should complement the rates’ 10% ward retention scheme we agreed to in 2015, which, however, has so far suffered poor actual allocation. We are developing it quickly and we want to make it work better for our residents,” he said.

The government, soon after independence, centralised local authorities’ administration. The move was informed by trying to take resources from wealthier suburbs and develop poor areas.

Meanwhile, Manyenyeni said the council plans to complete unblocking of the drainage system in Mbare by tomorrow to reduce flash floods and spread of waterborne diseases.

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