The massive amount of recalls instigated by MDC-T’s Douglas Mwonzora has spurred residents into calling for amendments to the responsible law to reduce the power of political parties.
Residents associations under the banner of Residents’ Association Coalition for Electoral Reforms (RACER) delivered a petition to Parliament laying out their wishes.
Among various demands, the residents are requesting, “the Minister (of Local Government) to come and explain measures taken to empower communities to have capacity to demand quality services from elected councilors, including legal recall powers as provided in the devolution and decentralisation policy of 2020.
“Enact enabling legislation which will operationalize section 129(k) read together with Section 278 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe with provisions which allow residents to participate in the recall process where political parties initiate the recall and residents endorse the recall,” it said.
ZEC Under Scrutiny
The organisation added that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) should also table and share the costs of by-elections that emanated from the recalls between 2020 and 2022.
RACER has also been developing a manifesto to initiate local governance reforms ahead of the 2023 elections.
Addressing journalists recently its spokesperson Marvelous Khumalo said the document is aimed at dealing with unfulfilled promises, calibre of of elected leaders and other issues related to elected leadership.
“There should be a mandatory asset declaration for those who intend to assume elected leadership roles.
“There must be periodic asset declarations for both elected and non-elected public office holders as supported by Section 198(a) of the Constitution,” he added.
The rafts of measures are all meant to protect voters who have complained of being bystanders in matters to do with their livelihood.
The petition comes at a time when Mwonzora and MDC-T have recently recalled 6 councilors in Binga Rural District Council and 3 councilors in Gweru City Council.
These are only the latest in a long list of recalled councilors that now exceeds 100.
The recalls have led to repeated by-elections in various local authorities and has seriously undermined service delivery as parties have remained politicking.