Residents Associations Call for Constitutional Amendment as Recalls Tear Councils

Residents Associations are calling for immediate amendment of the constitution which gives powers to political parties to recall councilors without consulting citizens.

Speaking on a radio program recently in Harare, Harare Metropolitan Residents Forum (HAMREF) Chairperson Mr Marvellous Kumalo said, “As residents, we are going to lobby for the amendment of the constitution. These forms of recalls should go through a referendum of that particular constituency.”

CHRA Director Mrs. Loreen Mupasiri Sani highlighted that the political contestations of the opposition parties have resulted in the wild recalls of councilors and left the electorate on the periphery of the local governance.

“Councilors are the bridge between the residents and the council officials,” said the CHRA Director.

The Secretary for Local Governance for MDC Alliance, Sesel Zvidzai lamented that the recalls were not procedural. “If recalls were to be made there are processes and procedures to be followed not just a mere letter,” said Zvidzai.

Zvidzai added that, “Councilors were being recalled because they were refusing to be raped politically.”

Mr Morgan Komichi the National Chairperson for the MDC-T defended the recalls and highlighted that there were a necessity.

“These recalls are informed by a Supreme Court ruling which regards Thokozani Kuphe as the president of MDC Alliance and Councilor recalls is a process of dealing with indiscipline among councilors, issues of service delivery will be dealt with later”, said Komichi.

So far, twenty one (21) Councilors out of forty-six (46) have been recalled to a situation that has crippled council committees and operations.

The recalls come at a time when Council is in an important political process of budget formulation.

CHRA calls for the fighting political parties to prioritize residents and service delivery; they are crippling as these recalls are affecting representative democracy and quality service delivery.

Source: Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)

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