The residents of Harare condemned allegations emanating from some sections of the media that the government intends to set up an Inter-Ministerial Taskforce to be in charge of local authorities.
The move comes at a time when the government has been touting devolution of governmental power and functions to lower tiers of government.
“The central government by taking control of local authorities is not only abusing the constitution but killing lower tiers of government”, said Mr David Sibanda a Kambuzuma resident.
A local government expert who spoke on conditions of anonymity blasted the idea, “we expect the government to capacitate these local authorities not taking over, this is purely bad governance.”
At a recently conducted National Devolution Indaba in Harare Residents Association representatives expected the government to give local authorities latitude to “self-govern” as provided in Section 276 of the Constitution while the government set standards and strengthen capacities of the local authorities through training.
The Constitution of Zimbabwe now recognizes local authorities as constitutional establishments and as a lower tiers of government, despite this arrangement there has been machinations of takeover of “underperforming” urban local authorities through government appointments.
CHRA warns that the continued de-concentration or increase of the presence of the central government in our local governance system will retard development as it has a potential of throwing citizens to the periphery of local governance.