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Residents Lament Possibility of Commissions

by Kudakwashe Vhenge

By Staff Reporter

A conglomerate of residents associations and civic society organizations has bemoaned the possibility of commissions running urban local authorities.

This follows the suspension of some councilors on corruption allegations and recalls by the MDC-T.

Speaking at the Webinar National Discussion hosted by Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA), Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association Director, Emmanuel Ndlovu said the level of corruption in councils as well as recalls have created a fertile ground for appointment of commissions especially on the allocation of stands.

Independent local government expert Dr Davison Muchadenyika highlighted that appointment of Commissions should be the last resort as it contravenes section 265 of the constitution.

“All members of local authorities must be elected by registered voters within the areas for which the local authorities are established,” he said.

Residents’ representatives are worried that the appointment of Commissions to run local authorities is a threat to representative democracy and the current provisions governing the appointment of Commissions was open to manipulation by the Minister of Local Government.

The Director of Urban Council Association of Zimbabwe, Mr Mutekede said that the commissions will cripple councils.

 “If commissions are appointed to run the local authorities they will not have powers to  levy rates, taxes,  increase any charge and to levy any charge without approval from the Minister , hence the Minister will be running local authorities.Whenever there has been people of questionable character appointed to be Commissioners to run local authorities there has been citizens uproar over the appointments,” he said.

Urban local authorities have a tattered history of bad governance following the dismissal of elected councilors and installation of commissions. The Sekesai Makwavarara led commission being the most notable after it was alleged to have gobbled millions from the city of Harare.

Fear of a  possibility of commissions have became rife after the MDC T led by Thokozani Khupe embarked on a recall spree of both legislators and councilors.

Impeccable sources said the MDC T leadership fretting from losing the Harare mayor post to it’s rival MDC Alliance candidate councilor, Jacob Mafume.

Mafume polled 19 votes against their preferred candidate councilor, Luckson Mukunguma who polled a paltry 14 intend to recall more councilors.

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