Blessings Chidakwa, Municipal Reporter – The Herald

The Ministry of Local Government and Public Works has dispatched a team of highly-skilled former council officials to conduct an audit in the country’s 32 urban councils.

Local Government Minister July Moyo is also set to appoint the Local Government Board soon.

The audit comes as residents have slammed the opposition for running down urban councils.

Speaking during a recent interactive meeting with Harare City Council officials over the problems bedevilling the capital city, Minister Moyo expressed gratitude over the response from most council officials across the country.

“I sent a team of ex-town clerks, ex-directors of works, treasurers, senior planners and human resources practitioners, but who know about local authorities.

“They started in Victoria Falls and I was telling the mayor that the team reported that they found the most uncooperating officers in that area. In a lot of cases they cooperated,” he said.

“They did an analysis of all the urban local authorities, where they didn’t go physically they sent a questioner which was developed by a human resources specialist so that we can have the advantage of their input.

“That they have already done and they have given me a preliminary report.”

Minister Moyo said such an exercise was last carried out in 1983 where Government analysed each of the functions from the town clerk and other directors.

“We had a seminar before they went out, just to say where are we going wrong and what is going wrong. It is not just Harare, but it as the capital and therefore we have to pay more attention.

“The human resource element is very important and fortunately in the next few weeks will have the Local Government Board fully constituted to discharge its functions so we have to pay a lot more attention,” he said.

Minister Moyo slammed Harare for poor supervision as people are constructing on illegal sites citing two houses that were constructed on tarred roads with one at window level said to be belonging to a city housing department employee.

“A city employee leading construction of a house at a tarred road and at Works department nothing happens.

“Along Harare-Bulawayo road many houses are being building under power lines,” he said.

Government through Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe is expected to hire consultancy particularly to focus on water and other amenities including roads and waste management so that no council should just run without second opinion which Government will give them freely.

Minister Moyo said in Bulawayo the city engineer or the engineers said it would cost $78 million for water, but it was cut to $12 million.