GOVERNMENT says is keeping an eye on Harare city councillors describing them as not worth the ballot paper they were voted on as service delivery has deteriorated to alarming levels.
Secretary for Local Government, George Magosvongwe, who accompanied the new Local Government minister July Moyo on a familiarisation tour of council, said councillors needed to up their game and deliver.
“Otherwise they are not worth the ballot paper they were elected on. We are saying performance, performance and specific substantive product must come of the local authority system,” Magosvongwe said after meeting the city delegation, which was led by the mayor, Bernard Manyenyeni and acting town clerk, Hosiah Chisango.
“For us as a ministry, it is the fusion of a new culture, it is the motivation of the employees that we have in the ministry and in the local authorities so that as we change the performance culture, we are also guaranteed to improve the standard basic living of our people.”
Among the deliverables, which were under discussion, was water supply and its impact on economic development.
“For purposes of coordination of government’s 100-day programme, we wish to improve service provision in the city and in the country in general. The focus was on matters related to water provision, the need for Harare City to take the subject seriously because it impacts development and it impacts the living standards of the people and it is an obligation that all local authorities must provide,” Magosvongwe said.
He said Harare, as the capital, “mirrors the image of the country, it also reflects the images of all the others the sum total of the local authorities that we have. So we want Harare to be a model city that leads by example”.
The local authority has been making headlines when it comes to corruption-related scandals and plunder of public resources. Magosvongwe said council must grow its revenue base by ensuring that its licensing system is effective.
“In relation to the licensing system, your shops, your factories, they all attract a service so they must pay licences. At the end of the day, we have been saying Harare must not just come back to its Sunshine City status, it must create a new culture that enables futuristic vision to emerge so that we do not sit on the 50-year plan we inherited from colonialism, but we have a futuristic plan for the development of the country as a whole vision on the model that Harare will set,” he said.