Rotating district officers blamed for hindering progress in Mabelreign

10 May, 2024 - 00:05 0 Views
Rotating district officers blamed for hindering progress in Mabelreign Mabelreign acting district officer Mrs Grace Gora addressing a recent residents’ meeting.


Peter Tanyanyiwa Suburban Reporter

Mabelreign District Office has not had a district officer running the council office on a long-term basis, a situation blamed for the lack of progress on service delivery in the suburb.

Residents of Mabelreign say the constant rotation of district officers for the past three years in the suburb hinders the officials from executing their strategies and plans to improve service delivery.

Mrs Jane Gambiza and Mrs Grace Gora have been rotating as acting district officers for an extended period, an arrangement residents feel shortchanges them because the constant rotation prevents any meaningful impact or decisions. When Mrs Gambiza is acting district officer, Mrs Gora becomes deputy district officer and vice-versa.

In an interview, Ward 17 Councillor Happymore Gotora, said that there is currently no substantive district officer at the Mabelreign District Office. Instead, there are only acting district officers who rotate every three months as per standard procedure, said Cllr Gotora.

“The truth of the matter is that there is no district officer at Mabelreign District Office. According to standard procedure, you cannot act in a position for more than three months. This is why Mrs  Gambiza and Mrs Gora have been rotating in the position for some time now. However, we are working towards appointing a substantive district officer at all district offices,” he said.

Cllr Gotora acknowledged the confusion and lack of progress caused by the current arrangement saying it affects both the residents and himself in their interfacing with the district office. He agreed with residents that the situation was not tenable and a substantive district officer has to be appointed to ensure continuity and effective governance.

“I totally agree with residents that the current arrangement at Mabelreign District Office is confusing to residents and to myself because at one point, I am dealing with this official, and after some months, I will be dealing with another official on one matter, hence it derails progress,” said Cllr Gotora.

Residents argue that positions such as district officers require incumbents to serve for a reasonable term of say five years to enable them to build relationships, understand the community’s needs, and effectively carry out their duties.

“We feel like we’re going in circles with these rotating district officers. There’s no consistency, and it’s preventing any real change from happening.

“Having two acting officers doesn’t make a difference if they keep changing. We need someone who can truly understand our community and address our needs,” said one resident.

Previously, the Mabelreign district officer also covered the neighbouring suburb of Marlborough but a substantive district officer has since been appointed for Marlborough.

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