The Harare Residents Trust has castigated Local Government and Public Works minister July Moyo for delaying the appointment of a Local Government Board to oversee operations and councils across Zimbabwe.
In a statement, the HRT said while the board appointment, two weeks ago, was welcome, the damage done to local urban local authorities will take longer to repair.
Government the board led by Mr Steven Chakaipa and would be responsible for the selection of the councils’ senior management countrywide.
Other board members include Professor Campbell Temba Kombe, Mr Maxwell Kaitano, councillor Patricia Mwale, Ms Marjorie Mandaringa, Engineer Tatenda Mawokomatanda, Mr Hamandishe Chinyengetere.
Dadirai Dodo is the board secretary.
“This calls for more professionalism from the board in its handling of outstanding issues from the 32 urban local authorities in Zimbabwe,” the HRT said.
The Trust, however, expressed optimism about the newly appointed board.
“Our hope is that they discharge their mandate in a transparent and accountable manner,” the Trust said.
The board functions include providing guidance for the general organization and control of employees in the service of councils while ensuring the general well-being and good administration of councils’ staff.
It also ensures the maintenance of efficiency, make model conditions of service for adoption by councils including model regulations stipulating the qualifications and appointment procedures for senior officials of councils.
The Trust, however, noted with concern the oversight role of the Local Government Board on urban local authorities saying it remains centralized with the minister.
The minister determines when the boardis appointed and even expanding their mandate without legislative oversight of his actions.
“Devolution provisions in the Constitution have delegated the responsibility for the running of our local authorities in the hands of our elected councillors with minimum interference of the central government,” the Trust said.
“Now that the LGB is in place, the Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe (UCAZ) and the respective urban local authorities should expedite their processes to fill in all the vacancies in their respective managements.”
It also lamented the unavailability of key personnel in finance, human resources, water, works, chamber secretary and town clerk at the Harare City Council.
“Urban councils in Zimbabwe have the capacity to recruit and dismiss their personnel without the need for the involvement of a central government structure,” the Trust said.