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Stop politicising local governance issues, Chombo urged
in Zimbabwe Coalition
June 23, 2011
dismissal of councillors hinging on abuse of power by the Minister
of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development, Ignatius Chombo
and lack of transparency, and accountability have impacted negatively
on social service delivery across the country. Against this background,
Harare Residents Association (CHRA) held a public meeting at
the New Ambassador Hotel under the theme, "Suspension and
dismissal of elected councillors: is it justified or a threat to
Democratic Local Governance?" The meeting was meant to create
a platform for policy makers, civil society representatives and
Harare residents to discuss the state of affairs in the Local Government
Ministry and its implications on social service delivery. Panelists
included Deputy Minister of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development
Hon Sessel Zvidzai, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio on
Local Government Hon Karenye, and Crisis Coalition's Programs
Manager Pedzisayi Ruhanya.
expressed concern at the lack of effective representation in local
governance issues and highlighted that the dismissal of the councillors
is unjustified and based on political reasons at the expense of
the rights of communities. They also noted that such situations
are not yet guided by the principles of social justice, participation,
transparency and accountability.
issues were raised at the meeting;
- The Urban
Council's Act gives exclusive executive powers to the
Minister and needs to be overhauled in order to reduce his powers
and to promote the participation of citizens in the administration
and running of local authorities.
and legal measures should be taken against corrupt government
officials and minister regardless of their political affiliations.
- The dismissal
of elected councillors should not be due to political differences,
preferences or interests but should be based on substantive issues
related to councillors' performance and accountablitiy in
the discharge of their mandate.
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