Blessings Chidakwa Municipal Correspondent
Government has challenged local authorities to become hubs of urban development by accelerating economic growth and modernisation in their areas and help drive the nation’s development agenda to attain upper middle income status by 2030.
In an interview with The Herald, Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo said in accordance with Government’s new devolution thrust, councils should direct their efforts towards strengthening the pillars of inclusive growth by increasing access to basic services in local economies.
“It is time we get out of the comfort zone and start to redirect our thinking towards building an investment case whose thrust is underpinned by the mammoth task to modernise and ensure we raise the standards of living of the citizens, he said.
“Thus, we all have an obligation to promote the growth of local economies which in turn will make local governments reliable.
“This demands deep analysis and precise knowledge of the potential and economic constraints of the local areas and find ways of realising the benefits from the resource endowments in respective areas.”
Minister Moyo said in line with the dictates of the Constitution, President Mnangagwa underscored the need for the country to fully embrace devolution as a strategy to facilitate rapid economic growth, as the country drives towards an upper middle income status by 2030.
“Indeed, while devolution is seen largely in many quarters as a Government initiative, it transcends all stakeholders in terms of its implementation,” he said.
“The President has called upon all stakeholders and private and public institutions to be alive to this new philosophy of provincial economic development. Devolution is, therefore, an important tool to achieving national economic growth.
“It is imperative to point out that the country undertakes a comprehensive devolution process putting in place an effective institutional framework that ensures coherence, focus, effectiveness and prudent use of the limited resources at the disposal of the State,” he said.
The Constitution of Zimbabwe provides for the establishment of metropolitan and provincial councils whose mandate is to champion developmental programmes at provincial level.
“The coming in of devolution presents an opportunity in the economic development of the country and the attainment of the upper middle income status by the year 2030,” said Minister Moyo.
“However, it requires that there is a seismic shift in attitude by all stakeholders and national institutions in order to make it a success. It should no longer be business as usual if the country is to realise the President’s vision.”
Meanwhile, Harare City Council will in the next two weeks start allocating 3 474 serviced stands in Mabvuku, Tafara and Eyestone to its staff in lieu of salary arrears dating back to 2017
Council will also pay a $300 a month cushioning allowance to its workers from this month that will see the least paid employee getting $1 109, which is slightly above the $1 023 being earned by the least civil servant.
Addressing journalists at Town House yesterday, housing committee chairperson Councillor Hammy Madzingira said the allocation of the stands will start in two weeks.
There were 2 132 stands in Mabvuku, 342 in Tafara and 1 000 in Eyestone. These are in addition to the 302 stands already allocated to staff, he said.
Human resources and general purpose committee chairperson Jacob Mafume said the council had successfully negotiated with workers to have their matter withdrawn from arbitration paving way for negotiations.
Harare Municipal Workers’ Union, Zimbabwe Urban Councils Workers’ Union and Water and Allied Workers’ Union representatives attended the press briefing.