Coun­cils urged to put houses in or­der

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Leonard Ncube in Vic­to­ria Falls

DEL­E­GATES to the just ended in­au­gu­ral Lo­cal Govern­ment In­vest­ment Con­fer­ence (Logic) in Vic­to­ria Falls have called on ur­ban lo­cal au­thor­i­ties to en­gage in­dus­try play­ers lo­cally and in­ter­na­tion­ally to pro­mote in­vest­ment.

The con­fer­ence, which was held un­der the theme: “Repo­si­tion­ing ur­ban lo­cal au­thor­i­ties as agents of in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion, in­vest­ment pro­mo­tion and so­cio-eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment” sought to mo­bilise lo­cal au­thor­i­ties to col­lec­tively lure in­vest­ment and iden­tify ser­vice de­liv­ery projects in their re­spec­tive ar­eas.

Dur­ing the busi­ness event, it was high­lighted that there was a dis­con­nec­tion be­tween lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and state agen­cies that are part­ners in ser­vice de­liv­ery and thus the need for en­gage­ment to come up with cap­i­tal projects.

The con­fer­ence rec­om­mended en­gage­ment with in­dus­try to re­vive hopes for rev­enue at a time when coun­cils’ only source of rev­enue are ratepay­ers.

It was also rec­om­mended that Logic should be an an­nual event to in­clude Ru­ral District Coun­cils, new hous­ing projects should em­brace smart tech­nol­ogy where houses should be in­stalled with so­lar pow­ered wa­ter gey­sers as well as to have com­mu­ni­ca­tion and co­op­er­a­tion among them­selves.

Harare Mayor Coun­cil­lor Bernard Manyenyeni, who is Ur­ban Coun­cils As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent, said the con­fer­ence was a suc­cess. “This was very suc­cess­ful,” he said. “We com­mend the call for lo­cal au­thor­i­ties to re­po­si­tion them­selves as it cre­ates a re­al­i­sa­tion of who we are and the op­por­tu­ni­ties that lie ahead.”

Clr Manyenyeni said what was left now is for lo­cal au­thor­i­ties to work on time­frames and deal with the is­sue of when they can im­ple­ment spe­cific goals.

Zim­babwe Lo­cal Govern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion (ZILGA) pres­i­dent Coun­cil­lor Martin Moyo, who is also the Mayor of Bu­l­awayo, said there was a need for co­or­di­nated ef­forts by lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and other stake­hold­ers for them to achieve ser­vice de­liv­ery goals.

“This was a re­sound­ing suc­cess and learn­ing curve. We all want ser­vice de­liv­ery and as such we should not be an­tag­o­nis­tic but col­lab­o­rate as ur­ban lo­cal au­thor­i­ties. We have had some con­fer­ences in the past, but not of this mag­ni­tude.

“And now our only hope is that in fu­ture, we com­mu­ni­cate and work to­gether and we know this will work out be­cause where there is a will there is a way,” he said.

Loca l Govern­ment, Pub­lic Works and Na­tional Hous­ing Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary En­gi­neer Ge­orge Mlilo en­cour­aged coun­cils to be trans­par­ent and de­sist from cor­rupt ten­den­cies.

He en­cour­aged them to fill all po­si­tions held by act­ing man­agers say­ing hav­ing peo­ple on act­ing ca­pac­ity dis­suades po­ten­tial in­vestors.

En­gi­neer Mlilo sin­gled out some coun­cils that he said should put their houses in or­der as a mat­ter of ur­gency.

He said Lu­pane Lo­cal Board should quickly fill the po­si­tion of Town Sec­re­tary while con­demn­ing some prophets of doom within the Gweru Mu­nic­i­pal­ity whom he said were work­ing hard to ‘pull down’ the coun­cil which is be­ing run by a com­mis­sion.

On Zvisha­vane Town Coun­cil, Eng Mlilo con­demned ac­tions of the town’s coun­cil chair­man whom he said makes au­to­cratic de­ci­sions with­out con­sult­ing other coun­cil of­fi­cials.

He also urged Harare, Maron­dera and Mutare to put their houses in or­der.

“All we are trying to do is cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment for busi­ness. As mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties you should have prospec­tus which spells out who you are and what you are do­ing as a town. Peo­ple should know what’s hap­pen­ing in coun­cil, so let’s not have se­lect by night deals which har­bour cor­rup­tion,” said Eng Mlilo. He also re­it­er­ated the need for coun­cils to ob­serve the 70/30 per­cent ra­tio when craft­ing their 2017 bud­gets. — @ ncubeleon

En­gi­neer Ge­orge Mlilo

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