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'Local govt in numerous crisis since independence'

by Stephen Jakes
30 Jul 2016 at 07:37hrs | Views
City of Harare
Harare Residents Trust has bemoaned that the Local government in Zimbabwe has experienced numerous challenges since independence.

The trust said the African Councils in rural areas, had District Administrators, who were the Chief Executive Officers of those councils.

"They administered government functions at local level. They evolved to become district councils, which covered the African Tribal Trust Lands, and Rural Councils, which used to be called Roads Councils and covered farming areas and mining towns," said the trust. "These had their own councils, which were run by the parent mining companies and they managed their local affairs."

The trust said in 1980, Zimbabwe scored a major milestone in the local government system through the Prime Minister's Directive, which is explained below; the Prime Minister's Directive 1984 Organisational structures for popular participation in development planning were outlined in the Prime Minister's Directive on Decentralization (1984 & 1985), which provided the basis for a hierarchy of representative bodies at the village, ward, district and provincial levels.

"Village Development Committees (VIDCOs) are elected bodies with responsibility for defining local needs. VIDCOs present village needs to Ward Development Committees (WADCOs), which cover about six villages and consist of VIDCO representatives," said the trust. "They oversee and prioritise local needs and forward these to the District Council. Each ward is represented by a district councillor."

The trust further said District Development Committees (DDC) are planning and co-ordination committees, composed of two local councillors, together with 18-28 central government officials from the sectoral ministries, and the police, army, and Central Intelligence Organisation.

"Membership is dominated by representatives of the central government. They are chaired by the District Administrator, currently a Central Government employee. The main planning functions of the DDC are to formulate District Development plans (short and long term), based in part on the plans forwarded from the VIDCOs and WADCOs. These are forwarded to the Provincial Development Committee," said the trust.

"The DDC also submit annual estimates to the Public Sector Investment Program (PSIP) via the Provincial Development Committees. The DDCs permit horizontal co-ordination of the activities of sectoral ministries and local authorities."

Source - Byo24News