‘Local councils best vehicles for growth’
The Herald, December 5, 1980
LOCAL councils had proved themselves to be the best vehicles of development throughout the world, the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing, Mr Godfrey Chidyausiku, said yesterday.
He was speaking at the opening of the Takawira District Council in Chilimanzi. The council is named after the late Mr Leopold Takawira, who came from the same area.
“The councils or local governments have succeeded where they have been applied because they know the needs of the local people and can plan to satisfy these needs.
“The local governments have adequate knowledge of all the rеsources in their areas. Coupled with the help from the national governments and their resources, local governments can meet the needs of the people in their areas,” Mr Chidyausiku said.
He told people that if their work was guided by the principle of the greater good for the greatest number, they could not go wrong.
“Councils also have a responsibility to central governments to carry out government policies and to bring to the people the policies and the thinking of the national governments,” the Deputy Minister said.
LESSONS FOR TODAY
Local authorities are supposed to be Government conduits for development especially at ward and district levels because they are in touch with the people in their areas and well-placed to attend to their needs. However this is not necessarily the case especially in terms of urban councils which have been failing to provide basic services to residents.
The Government’s devolution plan speaks to this role. Since the roll-out of the devolution plans, there has been significant growth and development especially in areas under rural district councils.
For councils to operate efficiently they need the right mix of officials especially the councillors, who are supposed to help drive the agenda.
Councillors in urban local authorities have been found wanting in terms of discipline and ensuring that their councils run as smoothly as they should.