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2008 harmonised elections - Index of articles
Residents Association (CHRA)
January 28, 2008
The Chief Secretary
to the Office of the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda on
Friday announced in the Government Gazette that Cde Mugabe had signed
into law the Local Government Laws Amendment Act which sailed through
Parliament this month. The amendments effectively remove the post
of Executive Mayor to a ceremonial one.
The post of
Executive Mayor was created in 1995 following a repeal of the Act
that established the UCA 29:15. The Combined Harare Residents Association
(CHRA) deplores the move by government. CHRA views it as baseless
political strategy targeted at entrenching the power of the regime
in local authorities. The opposition has over the years been controlling
or winning mayoral seats in most urban areas. They have failed to
perform largely due to continued interference from the Local Government
ministry. The Minister of Local government, Public works and urban
development, Dr I Chombo has even fired some of these Mayors on
alleged charges of incompetence.
interference from central government has made it difficult for local
authorities to operate independently. They did not have the liberty
of borrowing powers and were not positively supported by the Local
government ministry. The removal of the post of Executive Mayor
will not improve the collapsed social services delivery. CHRA makes
the following recommendations:
- Reform of
the Urban Councils Act as opposed to piecemeal amendments which
do not improve local governance systems in Zimbabwe. The act in
its current form is subject to manipulation for party political
- Free and
fair local governance elections that will usher in a leadership
chosen by the people, accountable to the people and sensitive
to their needs.
must provide direct and indirect funding to local authorities
to help them provide quality municipal services. In South Africa
local authorities receive grants from the national budget.
- CHRA also
urges the constitutionalisation of local governance.
albeit governments intransigence, to offer advice to Parliamentary
portfolio committees and the Local government ministry on quality
and transparent local government systems. CHRA has been training
and capacitating residents to demand their rights. CHRA also distributes
information on the goings on in local governance issues.
Visit the CHRA
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