13 September 2017

Zimbabwe: Govt to Overhaul 'Corrupt' Chitungwiza

Government is set to overhaul management of Chitungwiza Municipality which has virtually crumbled due to corruption and maladministration, Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere has said. He said challenges facing the municipality were a reflection of problems plaguing the local governance system.

Minister Kasukuwere said this during a luncheon to mark the official opening of the Fifth Session of the Eighth Parliament that had earlier on been officiated by President Mugabe.

"The local government sphere which we share with our sister Ministry of Rural Development, Preservation of National Culture and Heritage is still fraught with socio-economic challenges that require concerted efforts by Government to improve the situation," said Minister Kasukuwere.

"A good example is that of Chitungwiza that has collapsed due to rampant corruption and maladministration, which in essence might be an indicator of what the sector is going through. The whole system requires a complete overhaul in order to restore efficient service delivery."

Minister Kasukuwere said through interventions like intensifying service level bench-marking and the annual local government investment conferences, monitoring needed to be enhanced to assess individual local authority's performances and harnessing the public-private partnership could grow the local economies.

He said the Civil Protection Act would be reviewed to improve disaster management efforts.

"In order to strengthen the civil protection arm, the ministry is currently reviewing the Civil Protection Act in keeping with the prevailing international frameworks for disaster risk reduction, which shall see the establishment of the Civil Protection Agency," said Minister Kasukuwere.

He said Government had put plans in place to revamp the urban transport system and had engaged bus suppliers from Brazil and China with a view of introducing a mass bus system to deal with the current chaos caused by illegal operators, commonly known as mushikashika.

"The introduction of the mass bus transport system will gradually and naturally displace the current para-transit system," he said.

Turning to construction of the New Parliament Building in Mount Hampden, Minister Kasukuwere said the Chinese contractors were set to come on site at the end of the year to start work.

He said Government was almost complete with preliminary work.

"The inter-ministerial committee is working on the enabling works which cover the construction of a 1,8 kilometre road, which is now 84 percent complete, supply of a 500 KVA transformer by Zesa and reticulation of water from boreholes with a combined yielding capacity of 30 000 litres of water enough to see the construction programmes," he said.

The event was attended Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko, Speaker of the National Assembly, Advocate Jacob Mudenda, Senate President Cde Edna Madzongwe, Cabinet Ministers, legislators, traditional leaders, captains of industry and senior Government officials.

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