BY RICHARD MUPONDE
GOVERNMENT yesterday said it had no appetite to appoint commissions to run local authorities despite accusing the MDC Alliance-run councils of poor service delivery.
Local Government ministry secretary Zvinechimwe Churu told NewsDay in an interview that instead of concentrating on installing commissions to run cities, his ministry was focused on pushing the devolution agenda and to empower local authorities as stipulated in the Constitution.
“As a ministry, we are seeking to decentralise so that we empower the local authorities. Devolution means that we have to allow districts to manage their own issues. So we are doing this in accordance with the Constitution of Zimbabwe to make sure that we have decentralised,” Churu said.
A source in the ministry yesterday said the government would not appoint commissions because the process was a complex and needed meticulous handling and would also violate the Constitution.
“Government has no appetite to appoint commissions, but has taken a stance to empower the local authorities. The problem being encountered is that some local authorities are badly run in some areas, but in other areas they are doing exceptionally well. So we can’t lump all of them together,” the source said.
The source said if government ran local authorities through commissions, it would result in a public outcry.
“Yes, we are aware that urban dwellers have clamoured for the government to appoint commissions because of poor service delivery. However, these are the same people who would complain if central government runs these councils. So what we are saying is that the government’s omnipresence should be removed from the councils so that they run their affairs with the help of the ministry,” they said. Government accuses the MDC Alliance-led councils of poor service delivery, as well as corruption.