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Chamisa's MDC bemoans govt interference in local governance

by Staff reporter
24 Aug 2020 at 07:17hrs | Views
THE opposition MDC Alliance has reacted angrily to the directive that government officials should attend council meetings, describing it as gross interference in the operations of local authorities.

Recently, Local Government minister July Moyo sent a circular to all mayors and council chairpersons indicating that officials from his ministry would, with immediate effect, sit through their meetings to give policy guidance.

"It has come to my attention that there is growing non-compliance to the Constitution, the statute law and government policy and circulars by councils and that councillors are not always given all the options available to enable them to make proper decisions," read part of Moyo's circular dated July 27.

"In view of this scenario, it has become necessary to monitor meetings of councils more effectively in the interest of transparency, accountability and good governance."

Moyo said the provincial development co-ordinator (former provincial administrator) or district development co-ordinator or their designated officials must be invited to attend all ordinary council and committee meetings.

He added that the directive was in the "national interest in ensuring that all tiers of government operate legally and in harmony with each other".

But MDC Alliance's secretary for local government Sesil Zvidzai yesterday said the move was a Zanu-PF ploy to stifle operations of opposition-led councils.

"Rather than interfering directly in that way, Moyo should make sure that his ministry puts systems that ensure it can complement the operations of local authorities," Zvidzai said.

"As MDC, we urge our councillors to remain resolute in carrying out their duties as we engage our competent lawyers on the way forward to dissect if the move is not contrary to council laws which empower elected councillors to autonomously run local affairs."

He added: "The MDC councillors are under siege not only from the Zanu-PF-led government, but others who have chosen to go to bed with them like (Thokozani) Khupe and Douglas Mwonzora (opposition MDC-T leaders) who have gone on a recalling spree of our councillors."

"This government's appetite to micromanage councils is in contravention of the Constitution which gives powers to elected councils to autonomously run local affairs," he said.

Source - newsday