'MDC-run councils, govt should work together'

 'MDC-run councils, govt should work together'
Published: 13 August 2019 (82 Views)
THE country's local authorities can only succeed in delivering quality service to the people if there is harmonious co-existence between the opposition MDC-led local governments and the central government, an opposition official has said.

Since the formation of the MDC in 1999, the labour backed party has been in control of most of the country's urban councils but service delivery has been deteriorating amid allegations of political interference by the central government through successive Local Government ministers.

Former Harare mayor Elias Mudzuri who is the MDC secretary for Local Government told the Daily News that both Zanu-PF which is in charge of central government and the opposition should bury their hatchet so that local authorities can deliver on their mandate.

"We have work on our hands to make sure that we provide solutions to the country's problems and if there is anybody who thinks they can go it alone, they are living in cloud cuckoo land.

Only unity of purpose can take the country forward so we have to make sure that there is harmonious co-existence between local government and central government," Mudzuri said.

This comes as Zanu-PF last year told the Daily News that it was ready to part ways with its checkered past in local governance issues and work with the MDC which won the majority number of urban local authorities in the July 31 polls.

Zanu-PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo said the ruling party was ready to put the past behind it and be progressive.

"We cannot continue to talk about what happened in the past because it is past, we need to move forward and the president is on record saying that we need to unite for the sake of progress so I do not see why the MDC councils will not work well with us for the sake of development," Khaya Moyo said at the time.

While President Emmerson Mnangagwa won both the presidential and parliamentary elections with an overwhelming majority, the same cannot be said of the local authorities.

With the ruling party having indicated its willingness to establish provincial councils in line with the country's Constitution which provides for devolution of power, the MDC hopes to maintain its visibility through its control of provincial governments.

Successive MDC mayors in Harare including Mudzuri and some from other major cities have previously complained about the behaviour of central government which they believe hampers service delivery.

In September last year,  Harare mayor Herbert Gomba blamed central government for the cholera outbreak which claimed several lives, alleging that a caretaker commission that was put in place a month earlier to run city's affairs had abrogated its duties leading to the outbreak.

Gomba's predecessor Bernard Manyenyeni once described his relationship with former Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere as difficult compared to his predecessor Ignatius Chombo, citing excessive interference for political expediency.

Manyenyeni alleged that vested political interests from the ruling party made it impossible for him to implement the business strategy he believed would turn around service delivery in the capital city.

Waterborne diseases, potholes, waste management and the supply of potable water are among the perennial challenges the city is faced with.

- dailynews

Tags: MDC,
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