By Wisdom Mumera
Harare Mayor Councillor Bernard Manyenyeni says the poor service delivery being experienced in the cities is a result of failure by legislators and councillors to fufill their oversight duties.
Cities and towns across the country are failing to provide clean and safe water, collect refuse regularly, maintain roads and street lights among many other services under the jurisdiction of local authories.
Speaking at the launch of a report on local government and service delivery, Councillor Manyenyeni said MPs and councillors are only thinking about their welfare and ignoring issues to do with service delivery and oversight.
“Members of Parliament barely do their jobs yet Mayors carry executive actions out of non-executive offices. They (MP’s and Councillors) have lost definition of their roles.
“When you are a Mayor you wear many hats, you do politics, business and community work, you work full time,” he said.
Manyenyeni said councillors for example nolonger care about service delivery and that they now take their positions as a form of employment for personal benefit.
Legislators made a lot of noise and even threatened to disrupt Parliament if their demands for sitting allowances (US$4million), residential stands and Ipads were not met, yet they have nenevr made the same threat in demanding that local authorities be given their 5 percent share of the budget as required by the constitution.
Druring debate on the Finance Bill in the National Assembly, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa also revealed that with effect from the start of the 9th Parliament, legislators will now be receiving vehicles for free and that after three years of getting their vehicles, he will give them duty-free certificates to import cars, especially considering those MPs from rural constituencies whose vehicles depreciate quickly.
The free certificates are a result of some of the demands from last year.
Speaking at the same event MDC-T secretary general Douglas Mwonzora told people that the coming in of the new political despensation led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa has had no impact on service delivery in cities and town.
“There is nothing new about the ‘new dispensation’ because urgent issues have not been addressed, Bulawayo City Council has not received money for public health for almost 30 years, these are issues that need to be addressed,” he said.
Mwonzora also bemoaned the influence of the line Minister in local council activities adding that its one of the reasons local authories are not performing well.