WASHINGTON DC —
Zimbabweans in most parts of the country have been rejecting the Local Government Laws Amendment Bill, which seeks to give the minister of local government power to suspend and fire councilors and city mayors.
The parliamentary hearings that have been held in Masvingo, Bulawayo and Harare, among other urban centers, have been recording a lot of discontent over some of the Bill’s provisions viewed by some political activists, civic society leaders and members of the public as being allegedly too draconian for running council affairs.
The hearings come at a time Local Government Minister Saviour Kasukuwere have been clashing with senior council officials in Gweru, Harare and Bulawayo, accusing them of either being incompetent or flouting some provisions of the Urban Councils Act in appointing town clerks and their subordinates.
Kasukuwere recently suspended Harare mayor, Bernard Manyenyeni, Gweru mayor Hamutendi Kombayi and his councillors, and has been at loggerheads with the Bulawayo City Council over a tender to set up a shopping complex.
In Harare on Thursday, there were clashes between opposition supporters and some suspected ruling party activists at one of the hearings.
For perspective, Studio 7 reached Burtler Tambo of Public Policy Research Institute of Zimbabwe, who said the Bill is ill-timed.
But Effort Nkomo, a Zanu PF activist, said the Bill is designed to address corruption and other important issues affecting local authorities.