Patrick Chitumba, Midlands Bureau Chief
THE Government has appointed commissions that will preside over local authorities around the country to enable oversight in the absence of councillors, a Cabinet Minister said yesterday.
In an interview, the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Cde July Moyo, said the appointments of the commissions to run rural and urban councils was with immediate effect.
He said Section 143 of the Constitution as read with Section 158 of the Rural District Councils Act (Chapter 29:13 and Section 80 of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15) provides that local authorities will be presided over by commissions prior to the swearing in of new councillors.
“Yes, its necessary (the appointment of the commissions) because oversight must never be lost in these rural district councils, local boards, town councils, municipalities and cities in the absence of councillors,” said Min Moyo.
“So Government has tasked able people who we think can work for the best of the rate payers prior to the swearing in of new councillors.”
Members making up commissions include businesspeople, traditional, church and community leaders who will be assisted by District Administrators in their respective districts.
“The (commissions) should be guided by the following terms of reference, namely to preside over local authorities on an interim bases until a new council is sworn in and to strictly adhere to existing statues in all council activities and operations. To avoid making far reaching decisions on behalf of the local authority without consulting the Ministry. They shall not engage in land or stands allocations, not to enter into agreements involving joint ventures, not engage in acquisition and or disposal of council property, not employ new staff and not deal with tenders,” reads part of the appointment letter.
In the Midlands province, commissioners of 14 RDC’s and urban councils have been appointed and will be assisted by the office of the District Administrator.
Some of the commissioners include Chief Chireya who will head Gokwe North RDC and will be assisted by the Assistant DA, a Mr Chinhara. Gokwe South RDC has Chief Njelele and Mr Edwin Mashindi.
Gokwe town council has Mr August Mukuku as chair and will be deputised by the DA, Mrs Monica Charamba.
Chief Malisa and Mr Fortune Mupungu will run Zibagwe RDC while Zvishavane has renowned businessman Mr Clever Pote as chairperson and R Mbulayi, the assistant DA. Gweru City Council will be chaired by prominent businessman, Mr Enos Size.