President Emmerson Mnangagwa urged residents to adopt a culture of paying bills and paying for services offered to them. He added that services offered by local authorities were not for free. The President was speaking at the 78th Annual Conference and Local Government Investment Conference held from 13 to 15 November 2019 at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo.

“The culture of not paying for services must stop. Let us all be responsible citizens,” he said. The Presidents also urged local authorities to prioritise robust strategies to improve revenue bases as provided under the Urban Councils Act [Chapter 29:15].

“As central government we remain committed to supporting the urban local authorities through policy guidance, fiscal transfers and other financial support, capacity building and technical back-up to enhance your operations,” said the President.

He promised that Devolution funds would be disbursed to local authorities as indicated in the 2020 National Budget.

The President called for frequent dialogue between central government and local authorities. He expected that the conference would come up with a comprehensive list of needs around which the two tiers of government can engage.

“My government is desirous to assist local authorities to grow, modernize and expand. We are ready and willing to help,” Said President Mnangagwa.