By Charles Dzimwasha
Civil society groups and residents associations have revealed that the interference by Local Government Minister in local authority affairs was breeding corruption.
The remarks came out during a meeting to deliberate on the way forward following the recent High Court Judgment which declared Section 314 of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15) invalid.
In a communique, the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) said participants had among other issues resolved to push for pushed to establish good local governance practices.
“Participants noted that interference by the Minister of local Government in the affairs of local authorities was breeding corruption while working against effective service delivery. As part of the resolutions, participants resolved to push for the following; entrenching good local governance practice after the positive court judgment by conducting civic education on local authorities to know and use the High Court Judgment as their point of reference.
“Capacity building of elected officials on constitutionalism and alignment of local government laws with the Constitution. Residents Associations and CSOs must come up with a policy framework (with clear benchmarks) that defines citizen participation in view of Section 264 of the constitution and devolution. Apply pressure for the swift alignment of the Rural District Councils Act and the Urban Councils Act with the constitution – recognizing Chapter 14 of the Constitution on devolution,” said CiZC.
The Coalition said participants will take court action on the constitutionality of the Local Government Board in relation to its powers to recruit and fire senior officials for local authorities.
Stakeholders said they will identify/audit sections of the Urban Councils Act and Rural District Councils Act that provides for interference in local authorities’ affairs by the central government and take stock of ministerial directives that are infringing on devolution of power for possible litigation and advocacy.
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