BY SILAS NKALA
NKAYI residents have called for the abolition of the district development co-ordinator (DDC)’s office formerly known as district administrator (DA) amid concerns that the post was inherited from the colonial system to suppress people’s freedoms.
During a virtual debate on Sunday conducted by a group called Nkayi Parliament, the residents said the DDC post should be abolished as the persons occupying the office was being used by the ruling Zanu PF party to stifle development.
Educationist and development advocate Slibele Mpofu, who was the debate facilitator, said DDCs were appointed based on trust by the appointing authority, as a result, development projects for districts were officially given the nod, or rejected by the DDC.
A participant Nkosilathi Ncube, who is based in South Africa, said DDCs were appointed by virtue of their understanding of ruling party politics.
“This means that DDCs are cadres, they are people that stand for a certain party, which means that when there is a donation from a non-governmental organisation or government departments, the person must respect the interests of the government of the day. It means this person must be a cardcarrying member of a political organisation in power, and he must be given instructions by the party,” Ncube said.
Nkayi resident Nhlanhla Moses Ncube said the DDC’s office was not relevant, adding that it should be scrapped.
“I think the DCC post is not even relevant. It is a political position, and even if people vote for their councillors, this person can still stifle their roles and hold back development. So, it is not a relevant post and is a waste of taxpayers’ money,” Ncube said.
Human rights activist Effie Ncube said the DDC’s offices were a colonial relic and did not represent the people.
“It is the most senior civil servant in council and it stands for national government, not the district. That is why in most cases the DDC do not come from the local area, because it’s an appointee coming to advance a political agenda which in some cases is not even developmental in nature,” Ncube said.
He said while other offices were provided for in the country’s Constitution, the DCC post was not catered for.
Nkayi villagers proposed that government should abolish the office.
Recently, Harare Provincial development co-ordinator Tafadzwa Muguti torched a storm when he ordered non-governmental organisations to submit their profiles to him. Analysts said he was being used by government to initiate an onslaught on civic society organisations outspoken on human rights issues.