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Wednesday, February 8, 2023
HomeNewsAlign Local Govt Laws, Residents Speaks On High Court Ruling

Align Local Govt Laws, Residents Speaks On High Court Ruling

The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) has called for a swift alignment of local government laws with the constitution to avoid unnecessary litigations.

The call comes after the recent High Court land mark ruling that declared Section 314 of the Urban Councils Act [Chapter 29: 15] invalid, the provision constantly encouraged the Local Government Minister to unnecessarily interfere with local councils’ decisions, as it gave the minister undue authority to make decisions, even regarding non-policy matters.

In a statement, CHRA said the ruling promotes devolution of powers and constitutionalism.

“The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) welcomes the High Court’s judgement to declare Section 314 of the Urban Councils Act [Chapter 29: 15] invalid, as the move promotes devolution of government powers and constitutionalism.

“CHRA calls for the swift alignment of local government with the constitution to avoid unnecessary court actions and call upon the respect and adherence to the provisions of the constitution. The Association reiterates that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land and any law, practice, custom or conduct inconsistent with the constitution is invalid,” said CHRA

The ruling will allow Local Councils to operate independently without the Local Government Minister’s interference in terms of overturning council decisions.

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According to Section 314 (1) of the Urban Councils Act [Chapter 29: 15], the Minister has the authority to postpone, overturn or revoke council resolutions, if they are deemed to be against the interests of the local community.

“Where the Minister is of the view that any resolution, decision or action of a council is not in the interests of the inhabitants of the council area concerned or is not in the national or public interest, the Minister may direct the council to reverse, suspend or rescind such resolution or decision or to reverse or suspend such action,” reads the section.

The judgement came against a background where the Minister of Local Government had rescinded Harare City Council resolutions on the controversial Pomona Waste to Energy Project.

CHRA, Borrowdale Residents and Ratepayers Association together with individual residents, including Ian Makoni and Elvis Ruzani were litigants to the court case.

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