Residents want competent councillors in local govt

By John Nhandara

Zimbabweans have called for a speedy amendment of laws pertaining to governance in local authorities to ensure that competent councillors are elected into office.

Harare Residents have no kind words for councillors who represent them, as a result of their ineptitude and poor performance in the development of areas under their jurisdiction.

Residents’ representatives have no doubt that the current crop of councillors has no clue on their mandate, hence the need for government to set minimum standards for councillors.

Harare Residents Trust director, Precious Shumba said: “It is not surprising that the current crop of our councillors do not have knowledge to the basic principles of the Urban Councils Act. Their ignorance to service delivery issues and incompetence leaves a lot to be desired.”

Poor service delivery is the order of the day in Harare as evidenced by uncollected garbage, inconsistent water supply, and the poor state of roads in most suburbs.

Meanwhile in Marondera, the story is the same and residents only expect improved service delivery if there are minimum credentials for one to be in council chambers.

“It has always been our wish to have minimum qualifications so that people get better services,” said Tapiwa Chengeta of Marondera Residents Open Forum.

Marondera Residents Association’s Gladman Munjoma noted: “These councillors some of them have always been overridden by management which takes advantage of their illiteracy.”

“As residents we have suffered for a long time and it is about time we have councillors who can grasp issues). Alice Chimwaza, a representative of people living with disabilities.

The issue of minimum qualifications for councils is among a host of measures meant to ensure improved service delivery under the amended District councils Act.