By Sukuoluhle Ndlovu
Masvingo – Local authorities have been urged to fully deliver their mandate to residents in each city and improve service delivery.
This was stated in the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) in its Weekend Reader. The local authorities have been urged to implement the Auditor General recommendations in the 2019 Audit Report. According to the 2019 Auditor General’s Report on Local Authority findings are predominantly to do with governance and service delivery issues such that out of twenty five relate to revenue collection, employment costs, procurement and service delivery.
In an interview with the Masvingo Residents and Rate Payers Alliance (MURRA), Spokesperson, Godfrey Mtimba said the Masvingo City Council should focus on top priorities to ensure service delivery.
“The council should improve provision of water as the residents are in dire need of water and this shows poor service delivery, the council should improve capacity at the water plant, the Water Augmentation Phase 2 must be taken seriously. The City council must have long term solutions as the city is growing and the population is doubling. The council should try to use the money they are getting from residents to rehabilitate and refurbish the roads.
“The Council must be transparent and accountable, it must always inform and update residents on how it is spending rate payers’ money so that we are all aware of how the money is used and this will reduce corruption whereby the auditor general and other people are exposed to give information and have an accountable council which will enhance service delivery. The council must improve citizens’ participation, citizens should participate in all public meetings of the local governance as they must be engaged in planning and management at the same time guiding the City Council on major priorities that affect them,” he said.
ZIMCODD stated that misuse of public funds has led to poor service delivery on residents. The mismanagement and misappropriation of public funds have both monetary and non – monetary implications. The crises thrive at the expense of public service delivery, and it is poor men and women who bear the brunt.
“Poor service delivery is taking a toll on resident’s fundamental rights enshrined in Chapter 4 of the Zimbabwe Constitution are continually abrogated. The Constitution obligates custodians of public finances to exercise transparency, accountability and equity,” ZIMCODD said.
ZIMCODD recommended that the local authorities should publicize and make available all audit information to enhance public scrutiny and follow up on the implementation of recommendations. Local authorities must operate with a key policy document which will formulate and implement policy guidelines. The fiscal gap, local authorities must recover all the money owed to them.