Zimbabwe

‘Councils dysfunctional’

Minister, Daniel Garwe

Freedom Mupanedemo

Midlands Bureau

All urban local authorities are dysfunctional and Government has had to step in starting with the rehabilitation of roads that are in bad shape due to years of neglect, National Housing and Social Amenities Minister Daniel Garwe has said.

Service delivery has sharply declined since 2000 and most roads, water supply systems and sewer reticulation are not working well.

Speaking to journalists after touring Gweru on Friday, Minister Garwe said the state of roads in urban centres was bad and Government was forced to take over the rehabilitation programme.

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“All our local authorities are dysfunctional and central Government has now taken it upon itself to get into the local authorities and get things moving.

“In terms of the maintenance of the roads, we now have a disaster management committee to deal with all roads, not only State roads, but urban councils roads,” he said.

There are plans to upgrade sewer and water reticulation systems in towns and cities.

“This is the beginning of good things for residents. We will deal with all dysfunctional water and sewer systems, deal with everything that the local authorities have destroyed; central Government is coming in now,” he said.

An emergency package will be unveiled soon, and Treasury and other private players have shown interest in funding the infrastructure rehabilitation programme.

“This is an emergency programme where we cannot commit to figures in terms of funding for now, but Treasury is supporting the initiatives.

“We also have private players willing to assist in terms of funding so there is political will from across the divide to get things going,” he said.

Councils have recently come under fire for sleeping on the job, with Harare City Council implicated in million-dollar corruption scandals involving land.

Speaking during last week’s Politburo meeting, President Mnangagwa rapped councils for failing to provide essential services such as potable water.

HERALD

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