BY STAFF REPORTER
LOCAL Government deputy minister Marian Chombo says most local authorities in the country have archaic infrastructure that has outlived its lifespan, resulting in water challenges and poor service delivery.
Chombo said this last week in the National Assembly in a ministerial statement on the state of service delivery in local authorities.
“Local authorities are now saddled with infrastructure that has since lived its lifespan or no longer suffices for the settlements whose expansion has not been matched with the complementary infrastructural development,” Chombo said.
“This is particularly so in key service delivery areas of water and waste water treatment plants that are continuously strained as they are being used beyond their capacities while central government has continued to avail funding through public sector investment programmes.
“This falls short of the requirements which run into hundreds of millions of dollars. To redress the funding challenges, government is courting development partners to complement its own as well as local authority efforts,” she said.
On the dilapidated road infrastructure, Chombo said the ministry was represented on the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) board and should always point out that funds generated from vehicle licensing and other revenue streams were insufficient to meet demand on the ground.
“To this end, the ministry encourages local authorities to augment the annual Zinara disbursements by setting aside funds from their own budget towards road maintenance and upgrading. The ministry agreed with councils to devote 20% of devolution funds towards road maintenance under the emergency road rehabilitation programme in view of the bad state of the road network that has been exacerbated by the heavy rains,” she
On littering, food hygiene and vending in the country’s cities, Chombo said it was regrettable that councils in some instances were failing to enforce by-laws resulting in citizens failing to comply.
“We have begun the processes of lobbying for municipal courts and arresting powers so that local authorities do not rely on the police whenever they want to enforce by-laws,” she said.