By Lloyd Takawira
The governing Zanu PF party has come under heavy criticism for its stance of trying to torpedo local authorities under the guise of restoring sanity and order.
After the 338th Politburo meeting held in Harare on Wednesday the Zanu PF party among other things agreed to take over a number of councils operations accusing the MDC Alliance-led urban councils of failure to provide services.
The party also sanctioned the takeover of all council run clinics and hospitals.
According to VP Chiwenga, all clinics that were run by councils and had closed down have been taken over by the Ministry of Health to ensure that they provide better services to the public.
He also added that the central govnment will also take over all poor run clinics.
However Zanu PF has been roundly condemned for its political posturing with , former Mayor Ben Manyenyeni venting his frustration by telling the Mnangagwa led administration that they should focus on reviving the country’s economy instead of concentrating on removing MDC Alliance led local authorities.
Writing on his Facebook page Manyenyeni said,”Instead of leading the national cohesion, recovery and the restoration of functional local government systems he is focused on removing MDC A from councils in 2023″.
Harare Residents Trust (HRT) director Mr Precious Shumba waded in accusing the ruling ZANU PF party of sabotaging urban local authorities as part of a choreographed plan to turn the electorate against opposition political parties ahead of the 2023 general elections at the expense of service delivery.
” It’s all about electioneering. As residents, we have observed with increasing alarm that the central government is suffocating local authorities in Zimbabwe, especially urban local authorities under the control of opposition councilors”.
Shumba went on to say Zanu PF is out in full force in fulfilling it’s long-held agenda to undermine local authorities run by the opposition MDC Alliance in order to make the ratepayers reject the opposition.
“The idea in our view is that when opposition-led councils fail to deliver, ratepayers will eventually discard them in preference of ruling party candidates” said Shumba.
MDC Alliance deputy spokesperson Clifford Hlatywayo accused Zanu PF and President Mnangagwa of running down the country he said everything has collapsed because of his failure to run the country. Councils don’t exist in isolation.
“He (Mnangagwa) must be booted out first. He has failed the whole nation… Mnangagwa must keep quiet on that. We know it’s their election strategy. To suffocate local authorities only to claim MDC Alliance-led local authorities have failed”
MDC-T spokesperson Mr Witness Dube also accused Zanu PF for creating bureaucratic bottlenecks to cripple local authorities.
“The emperor is risking running naked by starting to accuse us of corruption when they are actually the archbishops of corruption…Local authorities are failing to work because of bureaucratic hurdles coming from central government”, said Dube.
Local government has been a contested area in Zimbabwe with most councils especially urban ones being opposition strong holds thus inviting the wrath of the ruling Zanu PF which has vowed to reclaim the urban vote by any means necessary come 2023 plebiscite .