By Staff Reporter
Harare, June 18, 2016 – ZANU PF activists on Wednesday disrupted a public meeting meant to gauge the views of ordinary citizens on the Local Government Laws Amendment Bill.
The meeting, held at the Zimbabwe Grounds, was part of a serious of similar meetings currently being held by the parliament’s Local Government committee countrywide.
According to the Centre for Community Development in Zimbabwe (CCDZ) officials who were part of the meeting, hundreds of Zanu PF supporters were bussed to the venue from different constituencies to disrupt the meeting.
“The activists were clad in Zanu PF regalia and singing their party songs in violation of parliamentary rules and procedures,” said the group.
“A similar scenario occurred during a public hearing held by the Portfolio Committee at Rainbow Towers in Harare on the 16th of June 2016 where violence broke out and disrupted the meeting.
“Residents who spoke against the Bill were brutally attacked and injured by Zanu PF supporters. Denford Ngadziore and Taurai Kazado were among those brutalised.”
The Local Government Laws Amendment Bill has been roundly rejected by civil society and residents from across the country for violating the principle of devolution of power spelt out in the Constitution.
The Bill has also been rejected because it seeks to establish an “independent tribunal” responsible for the removal of Mayors, Councillors and Chairpersons that will be appointed by the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.
Civil society and residents argue that the so-called independent tribunal will not be autonomous from Executive control since it is appointed by the Minister.
Residents have suggested that the Independent tribunal must be appointed by Parliament.
Residents have also demanded the comprehensive alignment of local government laws in line with Chapter 14 of the Constitution on “Provincial and Local Government” including the urgent establishment of Provincial and Metropolitan Councils.
“The Centre for Community Development in Zimbabwe (CCDZ) calls for comprehensive alignment of local government laws with the Constitution,” said the group in a statement.
“The Local Government Laws Amendment Bill is ultra vires the constitution as it seeks to entrench Executive control over local authorities in violation of the principle of devolution of power to local authorities.
“The Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing must come up with a new Bill that provides for the establishment of Provincial and Metropolitan Councils without any further delay.”