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Chombo pushes for merger of councils to seize MDC-T strongholds

by Staff reporter
04 May 2015 at 07:34hrs | Views
Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo last week stepped up plans to merge urban and local councils' representative bodies with the creation of a 14-member interim executive committee for the new proposed body, the Zimbabwe Local Government Association (Zilga).

There are currently two representative bodies namely Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe (Ucaz) and the Association of Rural District Councils of Zimbabwe (ARDCZ), which Chombo said should be merged into Zilga by June.

Last week, the leadership of both ARDCZ and Ucaz met in Beitbridge where the interim committee under the presidency of Bulawayo Mayor Martin Moyo, deputised by David Guy Mutasa, was announced.

The MDC-T is resisting Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo's decision to amalgamate representative bodies of rural and urban councils as it sees the move as a Zanu-PF ploy to penetrate and dominate urban councils, which have been opposition strongholds since 2000.

There are currently two representative bodies namely Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe (Ucaz) and the Association of Rural District Councils of Zimbabwe (ARDCZ) which Chombo said should be merged by June into a unified body to be called Zimbabwe Local Government Association (Zilga).

Chombo first announced the plans for the merger in February and threatened to stop recognising Ucaz and ARDCZ if they resisted his intentions, which he said were in line with international best practice.

This prompted the local authorities to meet last week in Beitbridge where they agreed on a 14-member interim executive led by Bulawayo mayor Martin Moyo from MDC-T.

However, the MDC-T is opposed to the move as it believes Chombo and his Zanu-PF party are using this as a ruse to penetrate and dominate urban councils - opposition strongholds since the 2000 elections.

Senior party officials told the Zimbabwe Independent that party president Morgan Tsvangirai held a meeting with MDC-T aligned mayors in Bulawayo on Tuesday, where they resolved to oppose the planned merger.

Source - Zim Ind

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