Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister July Moyo has called on local authorities to formulate standing rules to rein in councillors who attend meetings while drunk.
Minister Moyo’s call follows reports that some councillors and senior council officials were failing to perform their duties and causing problems during crucial council meetings due to drunkenness.
He said local authorities were State organs which should not condone drunkeness or intoxication during crucial meetings.
Minister Moyo said it was pertinent for all local authorities to come up with by-laws or standing rules to stop what he termed counter-productive behaviour at full council meetings and other council fora.
He said the suggestion by some councillors to purchase breathalysers to test alcohol influence on councillors and managers before council meetings was very noble.
“Urban and rural councils are Government entities with the right to formulate standing rules or policies regarding drunkenness during meetings,” said Minister Moyo.
“Taking alcohol before full council meetings or any other council portfolio meetings adversely affects the proceedings and resolutions thereof.
“Councils can only be able to penalise those who get drunk and disturb proceedings if they have laid down policies. Once local authorities have managed to have such standing rules regarding drunkenness, they will be able conduct disciplinary hearing for the errant officials.
“We expect all councils to deliver, but they cannot do so if sensitive discussions on community are deliberated on by drunk people. That will not grow the economy.”