By Trust Rukwava
Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) elected councilors have a huge task ahead of them when they assume duty at the town house where power struggles between the ruling party and the opposition affects the proper discharge of their duties.
The opposition has maintained dominance in urban councils where they have been accused of presiding over deteriorating service delivery. Masvingo City has not been spared, as service delivery has been equally affected.
During the campaign period for the just ended by-elections, Zanu PF aspiring councilors sold the idea that they were the best candidates blaming opposition led councils of collapsing service delivery provision over the past two decades.
However, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) bagged all four Masvingo urban wards to overtake the ruling party that has 3 wards in its bag.
Zanu PF has three councilors, Deputy Mayor Wellington Mahwende (ward6), Against Chiteme (ward 8) and Sengerayi Manyanga (ward 10).
The other three which make up the total 10 councilors are Mayor Collen Maboke, Selina Maridza and Babylon Beta allegedly from the Douglas Mwonzora led MDC-Alliance.
One of the newly elected CCC councilors, Rocky Kamuzonda, of ward 3 admitted that the political bickering and central government interference would pose a huge challenge in the discharge of theirduties.
“We know that there will be challenges that we will face, we are aware of the interference from government and political bickering from our rivals but we will go there united as CCC prepared to fight all the battles ahead so that we contribute immensly to the provision of better social services,” he said.
Analysts have also weighed in and predicted a tough situation for CCC to deliver, considering the role of council management in decision making.
Commenting in relation to the situation at town houses in the country, political analyst, Doctor Davison Mugodzwa, said the government should take its hands off local authorities.
“What’s problematic is that even though councils look independent their finances are controlled by the central government so Zanu PF has monopoly even if CCC has many councilors. CCC will be blamed for rot in urban councils,” said Mugodzwa.
He also added that: “There is great interference from the Zanu PF led central government so until they accept to decentralize the financial affairs of cities there is a great problem. The devolution project hasn’t been that adequate.”
Throughout the country urban council management are headed by Town Clerks that are appointed by the Minister of Local Government and have been closely aligned with the ruling party.
Some council resolutions have been passed but implementation has been a great challenge as sabotage amongst the councilors and management reigns supreme.
Partisan lines have also greatly affected service delivery with councilors siding with each other along political party lines, despite the motion not being in the best interest of council.