via Residents blast councillors’ inauguration delays | The Zimbabwean by Thabani Dube
The continued delay to inaugurate councillors is deliberately being made to further interests of looting by bureaucrats at Town House, says Combined Harare Resident Association Chairperson, Simbarashe Moyo.
“The delay is not by accident but deliberate to pave way for the continued looting of council resources by bureaucrats.
“As residents we continue to be in the dark as far as council operations are concerned as those left in charge are not forthcoming with information. We do not know how much council is generating from its revenue or how it is being used as service delivery plunge,” said Moyo in a telephone interview.
According to the new constitution councillors must be sworn in nine days after the official announcement of local authorities’ election results.
Last week, the Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Permanent Secretary, Killian Mupingo gave an indefinite postponement of the swearing in of councillors a day before the inauguration.
“As long as it is like this the bureaucrats are happy as it gives them time to loot council resources at the expense of service delivery,” said Moyo.
On June 29 Minister of Local Government in terms of Section 80(1) of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15) and Section 158 (1) of the Rural District Councils Act (29:13) dissolved all councils and appointed town clerks and provincial administrators in case of Harare and Bulawayo and district administrators in other areas as caretakers and commissioners, respectively, paving way for elections.
The residents and analysts have condemned the process saying it does not protect the people’s interest but furthers the bureaucrats.
“Those appointed are not answerable to the people except those who appointed them,” said Moyo.
The Harare Residents Trust spokesperson, Precious Shumba said residents must always be represented by elected officials, whose loyalty was to the electorate and not individuals.
“Bureaucrats are always a bit more difficult to deal with in the absence of elected representatives as there is a tendency to be their own masters, taking certain decisions that contradict the positions of the outgoing council,” said Shumba.
Usually residents and other local authorities’ stakeholders are kept abreast with council businesses during full council-monthly meetings and since June there has been no any updates on the operations of councils across the country