A team of local government experts has been assembled to conduct a manpower audit at all local authorities following a serious decline in service delivery, Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo has said.
Minister Moyo said Government has since started dispatching the teams to conduct the assessments. The country has 92 local authorities, 32 of them are in urban areas and the remaining 60 in rural areas.
“We need to do so now because service delivery has fallen way behind the demands of our people,” he said. “We are undertaking a serious analysis of the manpower situation in all the local authorities.
“I have appointed a team of experts in local government – engineers, administrators, a former town clerk – that will be going around in all the local authorities and assessing the manpower deficiencies that they are now experiencing.”
Government is keen to restore service delivery, with Harare Provincial Development Coordinator Mr Tafadzwa Muguti recently directing that town clerks, town secretaries and chief executives in the province need to sign performance-based contracts so that their work can be evaluated and corrective action taken if they fail to ensure the provision of quality services to ratepayers.
“We need to have a performance contract with local authorities. Government cannot only have performance contracts with ministries, but fail to have the same with the local authorities.”
Harare Metropolitan province has four urban councils: Harare City Council, Chitungwiza Municipality, and the Ruwa Local Board and Epworth Local Board.
Poor service delivery is mostly manifest in urban local authorities, with most of them dominated by MDC-Alliance councillors.
In Harare, residents are going for days without water, while garbage is collected intermittently.
Roads are in a sorry state, rivulets of sewage flow freely in some suburbs, many clinics are not operating, storm water drains are clogged with litter and street lighting needs urgent attention. This is the same scenario in other urban councils, including Kadoma City Council and Chitungwiza Municipality.
Zimbabwe Combined Residents Association president, Mr McSteven Nyabvure, said service delivery had deteriorated to unimaginable alarming levels. “Those in charge have proved that they are inefficient,” he said. “The people whom we entrusted to run the city are busy pursuing their own agenda at the expense of service delivery,” he said.