Some residents have decried the slow pace in the implementation of a law regarding the minimum qualifications for councilors as the country readies for general elections.
In a landmark move early this year, Cabinet approved a legal framework that will allow Government to introduce minimum qualifications for councillors in local authorities.
The move is set to improve the calibre of Councilors running country.
Information Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa, said Cabinet approved principles of the Rural District Councils Amendment Bill.
“The amendments will seek, among other provisions, to provide for consultation with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and local authorities before the exercise of powers by the President or Minister responsible.
“The membership of Councils, devolution of Governmental powers and responsibilities, qualifications of councillors, assumption of office by councillors, the suspension and removal of Councillors from Office, the procedures and appointment of an Independent Tribunal, and the incorporation of Junior Councillors in development programmes under local authorities,” said Mutsvangwa.
“The amendments will also provide for the opening of a Devolution Account, into which revenue from the fiscus will be deposited for the provision of basic services, namely educational and health facilities, water, roads, and electricity within areas under the jurisdiction of the local authorities.
“Cabinet approved the principles, which are a result of widespread consultations with stakeholders.”
Currently there are no laws relating to the qualifications of councilors.
This has resulted in mainly those who are popular to assume office despite their educational and capacity challenges.
“Political parties have no criteria in relation to education or anything which speaks about capacity.
“All they look for are candidates who are able to mobilise support for the party.
“However those qualities have no use when one becomes a Councilor. It has to change,” said one Richard Hwata (39) from Kuwadzana.
Sandros Siyachitema also concurred adding that is the reason money is being stolen.
“Some of these politicians are just gangsters who know nothing about administration.
“We should have laws which protect us from blank politicians who can be swindled by technocrats,” he said.
However, the country looks set to hold the general elections in August before the law is ready.
This means that the field remains open for anyone to become a Councilor.
Many residents have previously called for the introduction of qualifications as a way of curtailing the rise of incapacitated people into office.
However others have decried the move as segregatory.