President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday urged councils to be innovative and mobilise resources to fund service delivery and avoid cases where residents are exposed to squalid conditions and uncollected garbage.
By Everson Mushava
Addressing delegates at a luncheon organised for him by the Local Government ministry to mark the official opening of the Second Session of the Ninth Parliament, Mnangagwa said councils should be innovative and raise funds to ensure that they fulfil their mandate and compliment government in its 2030 economic vision.
“I exhort localities to fully utilise the provisions of the Rural and Urban Councils Act to mobilise adequate resources for service delivery. The principal issue for creating local and urban councils is to provide services,” Mnangagwa said, adding that water treatment and infrastructural development in all urban councils has lagged behind, resulting in health risks, a situation which cannot be allowed to continue.
“As central government, we will not stand by and watch our people being exposed to despicable living conditions where councils fail to meet their duties,” Mnangagwa said.
The Zanu PF leader said, in future, there would be need to craft laws to ensure councils are able to fulfil their mandate.
“Government recently put in place measures to capacitate the City of Harare to mitigate current problems. We have also released funds to urban councils to deal with sanitation problems. A few councils are able to meet their requirements,” he said.
“Road woks have been expanded to both rural and urban areas and government remained committed to improve the rural and urban transportation through the capacitation of Zupco. We will be rolling out buses in rural areas.”
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He said government was also working towards improving health services across the country. “We have a programme to build 6 600 health centres across the country in the next five years,” Mnangagwa said.
On devolution, Mnangagwa said it means councils should adjust to the new economic trajectory, urging them to be innovative and allow investment in line with his “Zimbabwe is open for business” mantra.