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Resolutions of DEMCOF Forum held at Harvest House on 13 January 2011
Democratic Councils Forum (DemCoF)
January 13, 2011

Democratic Councils Forum (DemCoF) met in Harare today to discuss the following issues;

  • The undemocratic and arbitrary interference of the Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development in the running of cities and town councils in Zimbabwe.
  • Collective action on the Harare and Mutare Land audit reports on corruption by named senior Zanu PF officials.
  • The politically partisan manner of targeting democratically elected councils by Zanu PF functionaries.
  • The initiation of the Zimbabwe Local Government Democracy Charter.

Having so debated the above issues, we resolved as follows;

Chombo's crimes

Aware that serious malpractices and crimes were committed by Zanu PF in previous councils, noting Chombo's widely known looting and asset stripping of council's finite resources.

Disturbed that Chombo's corruption has deprived residents of resources like land.

Recognising the need to stop and reverse these malpractices, DemCoF resolved that parliament moves a motion to investigate Chombo for abuse of public office as a matter of urgency and in the national interest

Minister's arbitrary interference in councils

  • Noting Chombo's unwarranted interference and micro-managing of local authorities
  • Aware that the Minister derives most of his power from the draconian local government laws particularly the Urban Councils Act and the Rural District Councils Act.
  • Worried that these laws are undemocratic as they give the minister power to reverse the peoples' will, aspirations and development for political expediency.

DemCoF pledges to work with all residents, in their diversity, to realise and restore the vibrancy of Zimbabwe's Local Authority, promote the generation of employment and raise the quality of life for the people of Zimbabwe, in particular its necessary to amend Local Government laws and realign them with the current needs and demands of the people.

Suspensions and dismissal of councillors

Concerned that the Minister of Local Government Rural and Urban Planning has gone on a retribution campaign suspending and dismissing councillors,

Noting that to date Chombo has arbitrarily dismissed 11 of our councillors and suspended two in Harare.

Worried that the move is meant to protect his vast interests and personal fortune by silencing emerging voices, DemCoF resolved the affected councillors seek legal recourse against Chombo in both his personal and professional capacity

Service delivery

Disturbed that Zanu PF negligence of local authorities for a period of over a decade has led to massive collapse of infrastructure and that service delivery had virtually crumpled.

Noting that residents expect improved services.

Recognising that DemCoF has a people's mandate and constitutional obligation to restore the face of Zimbabwe's battered local government.

Accepting that a lot to improve the services has been done, the DemCoF resolved that focus should be on the following key result areas;

  • Provision of water and improvement of sanitary facilities
  • Restoration of health centres with focus on primary health care and communicable diseases.
  • Repair and maintenance of roads and infrastructure and the
  • Provision of housing, shelter and other essential amnesties.

Aware government still owes money to local authorities, and that if it pays its debts the money will make a huge impact on service delivery, DemCoF resolves to seek direction from the people through regular consultations on how the money can be recovered and can be invested productively in the national interest

Development of local government service charter

Recognising the need to set starndards in the provision of service delivery to redents DemCoF resolves to intiate the development of local government

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