Residents associations under the banner of Residents Associations Coalition for Electoral Reforms (RACER) have expressed concern over the capacity of some elected leaders occupying public offices saying they are pursuing self-enrichment at the expense of service delivery.
Speaking during a media briefing in Harare, RACER spokesperson Marvellous Khumalo said they are disturbed by the lack of understanding of responsibilities among elected local authority leaders.
“We are worried over the lack of transparency, accountability, and responsiveness among elected leadership which has seen limited access to basic services and the deterioration of service provision in our communities. The increasing conflicts in urban, peri-urban and rural areas emanating from rising demand for land, housing and exploitation of natural resources;
“We are concerned over the caliber and quality of elected leadership occupying public offices who are pursuing self-service and enrichment, and their interests at the expense of the residents; Tired over perpetual unfulfilled electoral promises made by electoral candidates and their political parties before occupying public office.
“Recognizing the role of political parties in candidate selection for elections and policy direction when their candidates get into power. We are disturbed over the lack of understanding of roles and responsibilities among elected councilors thereby affecting their representative, oversight, and policy-making role,” said Khumalo
He said ahead of the forthcoming 2023 elections the associations are developing a resident’s manifesto which will be shared to all political parties.
“In order to deal with unfulfilled electoral promises, the calibre of elected leadership and other issues relating to elected leadership, Residents Associations are in the process of developing a Residents Manifesto, a document with key minimum Residents Associations expectations and priority issues for consideration by political parties and electoral candidates. This will be shared with all political parties and independent candidates.
“There should be mandatory asset declaration for those who intend to assume elected leadership role to become councillors (local and provincial level) and Members of Parliament and Presidential Candidates, and periodic asset declaration for both elected and non-elected public office holders is a priority, this is supported by Section 198(a) of the constitution,” he said