‘Govt stifling service delivery’

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LOCAL authorities have accused the government of stifling service delivery through “unnecessary” bureaucratic procurement processes.

by XOLISANI NCUBE

Addressing a water summit in the capital, Masvingo mayor, Hubert Fidze said the bureaucratic processes that local authorities have to go through before procuring anything were hindering service delivery in most cities.

“I am not happy, to be honest, the way our government is handling things, it’s very disappointing. As Masvingo, I signed for a $60 million loan from China, but government has to offer a guarantee, which is taking too long. That money is for construction of new water sources that would ensure we have enough, plus to take care of our residents,” he said.

Masvingo city produces 30 mega litres of water against demand of 48 mega litres and the local authority has approved a loan facility of $60 million from China to construct a 30 mega litre dam to upgrade its water supply capacity.

Harare councillor and chairperson of the environment committee, Herbert Gomba said the government was taking too long to help councils break bureaucratic process whenever buying goods or engaging development partners.

“We need to look at the Procurement Act and the Joint Venture Act because, local authorities have to go through a lengthy process of going through the procurement board, as well as get the ministry of Local Government’s approval,” Gomba said.

“This is up to the MPs to help short cut this. Currently, it’s a long process, but as local authorities we have to obey.”

The water summit was attended by local authorities from Harare, Bulawayo, and Masvingo along with residents’ associations.