Address service delivery, councillors advised

15 Sep, 2023 - 00:09 0 Views
Address service delivery, councillors advised Harare Permanent Secretary Mr Tafadzwa Muguti (middle) addresses councillors at Town House on Monday.

Suburban

Diana Nherera Suburban Reporter

Government has urged the City of Harare to urgently address service delivery challenges such as water and sewer and refuse collection.

The State also wants the city to stop theft of council assets and corruption within the municipality.

Speaking to councillors at the special meeting to elect the mayor and deputy mayor for Harare on Monday at Town House, Secretary for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Harare Metropolitan Province Mr Tafadzwa Muguti said the City of Harare is bedevilled with a number of challenges and implored the local authority to try and immediately take action.

“Water and sewer continue to be a problem.

“May I ask that it becomes one of the things you urgently look at.

“As central Government, we will always be there to assist you in any way possible to ensure that we address these issues,” he said.

Mr Muguti said the poor refuse collection in the city has seen President Mnangagwa declare the crisis a disaster.

“Refuse collection has been a major issue. And this comes with Statutory Instrument SI 140, which has declared (waste management) a disaster in Harare, through the proclamation by President Mnangagwa.

“As such, there is now an inter-governmental committee consisting City of Harare and EMA (Environmental Management Agency) which is going around assisting in removing waste. The faster we do it, the more we address all the health concerns,” said Mr Muguti.

He told the councillors to deal with the failure of the municipality to produce audited accounts.

“You are entering into a council which has failed to produce audited accounts for a number of years. So as you are entering into council, please note that we are struggling to deal with maladministration which has seen yourselves fail to produce audited accounts. I implore those who are incoming into the finance and audit committees to ensure that you address this issue.”

Mr Muguti said corruption was at its highest levels in the local authority.

“As you are well aware, the last five years have been characterised by suspensions, arrests and dismissals.

“It is my prayer that the faces that we are seeing today are the same faces we will see in the next five years.

“So it is with that in mind that we are appealing to officials and councillors to work together to combat corruption in the City of Harare,” he said.

Mr Muguti said pilferage of equipment and spares was rife seriously depleting the council’s asset base.

“Most of the (vehicle) fleet is sitting on its wheels, spares are being stolen, tyres are being stolen.

“A number of things are not going right with the fleet.

“I implore incoming councillors to ensure you put robust measures and controls to ensure you end the pilferage,” he said.

On devolution, Mr Muguti implored the new councillors to dig deep and find out the requirements of the residents they serve in order to be able to address their social needs.

“It is very important to note that devolution is five percent of all the consolidated revenues collected by Government.

“These are taxes which are collected by Zimra and disbursed through Treasury to you as local authorities,” he said.

Harare Mayor Councillor Ian Makone said there will be no sacred cows for those engaging in corrupt practices.

Clr Makone also said council will in the medium term address wage and creditor payments.

“It should be looking at both cash flows and service between the two sides of the same coin,” he said, speaking after his election as mayor.

Clr Makone said councillors were not technical experts in every field.

“And we will not hesitate to tap into the reservoir of skills out there.

“We look forward to working with various interest groups, to bring life to this city, residents’ associations, churches, NGOs, community-based organisations, formal and informal business communities.

“These are important stakeholders who I’m certain will only be too pleased to collaborate with council,” he said.

Clr Makone said he will work closely with his deputy Councillor Kudzai Kadzombe.

“We will provide a similar service between us to ensure that no issues remain unattended,” he said.

Clrs Makone and Kadzombe will get technical feedback from the town clerk and his team to inform them on what they have been doing, the mayor said.

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