Heads will roll in corruptly and incompetently managed local authorities as the Government is duty bound to improve living conditions for urbanites who have been receiving a raw deal from opposition-run councils, President Mnangagwa has said.

In line with the Government’s development thrust, President Mnangagwa said local authorities should speedily develop a roadmap towards Vision 2030 to improve the lives of people.

Budgets for 2024, the President said, will not be approved unless councils demonstrate achievable and acceptable levels of service delivery.

This comes as service delivery has deteriorated to unprecedented levels in urban areas especially the capital city, Harare, leading to the outbreak of medieval diseases like cholera and typhoid.

Speaking during a high-level interaction with local authorities in Harare yesterday, President Mnangagwa said he continues to note with great disappointment and concern, the dilapidated infrastructure in cities and towns.

The President also officially launched the BluePrint on “A call to Action — No Compromise to Service Delivery: First Stage of Interventions to Modernise the Operations of Local Authorities towards a 2030 Vision”.

President Mnangagwa said as the people’s Government, they will continue to intervene to transform the unacceptable state of affairs in urban areas.

“Hatidi mahumbwe atinoona mumaguta edu. We will not stand by and watch our country being returned to medieval times, where solid waste runs along the streets with frequent diseases such as cholera and typhoid.

“Service delivery must be prioritised and rate payers have a right to demand that heads roll for those who do not deliver,” he said.

The conference, attended by mayors, chairpersons, councillors, town clerks, town secretaries and chief executive officers from local authorities around the country, ran under the theme “A call to action, no compromise to service delivery”.

President Mnangagwa challenged councils to rise to the task.

“You should play your part in the ongoing quest to raise the standard of living of the people of our beloved motherland, through quality service delivery.

“The oath of office you each took upon your election into councils is sacred. We must deliver. Failure is not an option,” he said.

President Mnangagwa said as councils prepare for the 2024 financial, income and expenditure estimates, and in line with the country’s legal frameworks, they must undertake broad consultation processes towards people-centred policies, programmes and projects.

“The Ministry of Local Government has been instructed not to approve any annual budget unless it demonstrates achievable and acceptable service delivery levels and is in line with the law,” he said.

Corruption should be shunned, President Mnangagwa said, adding that integrity, accountability and transparency are the cornerstones of officials working in public entities.

“The trend of numerous arrests of both senior council officials and councillors over a litany of corruption charges is untenable. Local authorities and the public service must never be treated as spaces for stealing and looting that which belongs to the people of Zimbabwe.

“The Ministry of Local Government and Public Works, together with law enforcement agencies, must take a lead in ensuring that corruption and abuse of public resources in the sector are eliminated,” he said. Herald