President Mnangagwa has directed that the best performing local authorities and council officials be given awards starting next year at a ceremony he will preside over to ensure there is improved service delivery, a Cabinet Minister revealed yesterday.
Service delivery is a matter President Mnangagwa is seized with after he recently launched a blueprint titled, ‘‘A Call to Action, No Compromise on Service Delivery” which will result in him chairing a bi-annual meeting of all councils to ensure service delivery improves.
Government is also planning to improve conditions of service for councillors and will next year review upwards, their monthly allowances while also pushing for the timely disbursement of devolution funds.
Addressing chief accounting officers of all local authorities in Nyanga yesterday, Local Government and Public Works Minister Winston Chitando said improved service delivery was a priority for the President.
“[The] President has said starting next year, let us have awards for best performing councils and individuals and he will preside over them.
“We are going to be introducing the awards starting 2024. We would want the recommendations of benchmarking to come from your associations on categories like the best council or best worker,” he said.
Minister Chitando said the attainment of Vision 2030 was a process not an event, hence all councils were supposed to work with the Government to improve services.
The Minister also said the Government was highly committed to improving working conditions of all local authorities and would assist them in purchasing service delivery equipment.
Minister Chitando also said the task of councils to deliver quality services has been made easier through the blueprint given to them by President Mnangagwa.
“Each one of your local authorities need to have a plan in place to ensure that city, town, rural district council achieves desired results.
“We have one purpose; to support the President’s 2030 vision. The President in the blueprint said we should work together to deliver quality services,” he said.
Local Government and Public Works Permanent Secretary Dr John Basera, who also addressed the participants, said the call to action by President Mnangagwa required unity of purpose.
“It calls for team work, that culture of them and us has no place. We need everyone’s hands on the deck.
“Everyday always ask yourself how far have we gone with improving service delivery. In terms of revenue you should collect more while also delivering more,” he said.
The meeting was attended by members of the Association of Rural District Councils of Zimbabwe (ARDCZ) and Zimbabwe Local Government Association (ZILGA).
ZILGA president Dr Aaron Shamu tabled some issues he said required the attention of the Government, including reviewing downwards fees charged when crafting new by-laws which is currently pegged at US$2 000.
Dr Shamu said there was also need for councils to acquire more equipment for service delivery and the alignment of town clerks’ contracts.
Kwekwe Town Clerk Dr Lucia Mnkandla said councils needed to hit the ground running in implementing the President’s blueprint in 2024.
Mhondoro Ngezi Rural District Council chief executive Mr Itai Mawonde thanked President Mnangagwa for the planned awards for excelling councils and their personnel.
Mr Mawonde said the awards would serve as a source of motivation for all councils as they would strive for excellence.
Sanyati RDC chief executive officer Mr Archim Shadaya said it was now up to the councils to implement a clear roadmap as outlined in the President’s blueprint.