By Innocent Ruwende
President Mnangagwa has urged local authorities to put political party inclinations aside and work in unity, love and harmony. Speaking at a luncheon to mark the opening of the First Session of the Ninth Parliament in Harare on Tuesday, the President also called on councils to shun all forms of corruption and work in the national interest.
“I also want to encourage good corporate governance within levels of our local authorities to achieve operational efficiency, transparency and accountability. A new work ethic must permeate among all public servants and officials,” he said.
“As office bearers, we are the custodians of public assets and funds. We are in office to serve the citizenry of our great country and not for self-enrichment. Let us therefore shun all forms of corruption. I urge us to work in the national interest within our localities and aim to leave a legacy of development and service to our communities.”
President Mnangagwa said local authorities were closer to the people of Zimbabwe who legitimately must have access to efficient service delivery.
He urged traditional leaders and the whole sub-local governance structure to continue preaching peace, love and unity in society.
“You must, therefore, fulfil the mandate to provide equitable, quality, adequate and sustainable social services, at affordable rates to our country citizenry.”
President Mnangagwa added that councils should be lead actors in development planning which focuses on composite, current and futuristic policies to promote and ensure the modernisation of Zimbabwe in line with Vision 2030.
He challenged councils to individually and collectively demonstrate their resolve to improve the quality of lives of people without political, regional, tribal and racial bias.
“As I have pronounced, the requisite pieces of legislation will be amended to align (with) the Constitution. Thus, the constitutional provisions on devolution which emphasise on effectiveness, inclusivity, participatory and sharing of local and national resources will be upheld and enhanced.
“In addition, traditional leaders as the custodians of our culture, heritage and customs are extorted to continue to promote and maintain discipline and probity for positive behavioural change among people.
“As Government, we have heard the cries of the people and remain gravely perturbed by the spread of water-borne diseases such as cholera and typhoid. We mourn with families of the deceased and continue to extend medical care to those affected,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said Government will pursue implementation of medium- and long-term measures to comprehensively and conclusively prevent recurrence of medieval diseases.
He said the measures include repairing, revamping and the modernisation of both water and sanitary infrastructure, speeding up the construction of new water sources like Kunzvi Musami Dam and others, to ensure the provision of clean water, as well as increasing the solid waste disposal capacity of local authorities.
The luncheon was attended by Vice-Presidents Dr Constantino Chiwenga and Cde Kembo Mohadi, Cabinet ministers, service chiefs, mayors and chairpersons of local authorities and other senior Government officials.
MDC-Alliance legislators boycotted the luncheon but Harare Mayor Herbert Gomba was among those who sat at the high table with Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister July Moyo recognising his presence as host mayor.