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Urban Councils Amendment Bill, 2011 (Updated)
Parliament of Zimbabwe
December 16, 2011

View the previous version of the Urban Councils Amendment Bill

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Urban Councils Amendment Bill, 2011 (Updated)

MEMORANDUM

Clauses 3 to 9

The effect of these clauses will be as follows:

Once a municipality or town is established, the central government will not be able to alter its name or area or its ward boundaries, or abolish it, without the consent of the council concerned (see the new section 4(2) inserted by clause 3). At present the President and the Minister need merely consult the council. Any changes to ward boundaries, moreover, will require consultation with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (see the new section 4A(5) inserted by clause 4).

The present section 4A of the Act allows the Minister to appoint councillors to a municipal or town council. This will be abolished by the repeal of section 4A of the principal Act.

If the Minister wants to establish extended systems of local government under section 5 of the Act, that is, if the Minister wants two or more local authorities to combine their services, he or she will have to get the consent of the local authorities concerned (at present they merely need to be consulted). See clause 5 of the Bill.

The central government’s power to declare, alter and abolish local government areas will similarly be subject to consultation and consent. Under section 6 of the Act, as amended by clause 6 of the Bill, the President and the Minister will have to obtain the agreement of a municipal, town or rural district council before establishing a local government area within the council’s area, and will have to establish a commission under the new section 4A before establishing a local government area outside an existing council area. If a local board is established for a local government area, the Minister will have to get the board’s consent before conferring additional powers on it.

Under sections 7 and 8 of the Urban Councils Act, as amended by clauses 7 and 8 of the Bill, the Minister will have to get the consent of an urban council before giving the council responsibility for administering a local government area, and will similarly have to get the council’s consent before divesting the council of the administration of such an area.

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