Lovemore Lubinda

Most of the current crop of councillors, who were voted into office in 2013, might not make it this time around owing to corrupt tendencies they have and failure perform or deliver as expected- residents have said.

Residents in Harare and its satellite town of Chitungwiza have expressed dismay over the conduct of most of the councillors they voted into office during the 2013 harmonised elections, vowing not to give them the second chance come 30 July 2018.

The residents alleged that most of these councillors have been fingered in various acts of corruption that include, vote buying, illegal parcelling out of council land, nepotism, flouting of council procurement systems, among others.

The residents made these remarks during the ‘meet the candidate’ meetings facilitated by the Harare Residents Trust (HRT). In a statement sent to this publication, HRT said the meetings were meant to enlighten residents on making sound voting choices.

Meanwhile, HRT has called on citizens to vote wisely by considering their future more than immediate gratification when choosing ward councillors who will represent them at the local government level.

According to HRT, the best candidates must be evaluated on their own capacities and not their political parties that have sponsored their candidatures.

“We have taken a step further by facilitating public meetings to educate residents on the roles of councillors and endorsing the ten point criteria for a good councillor, an initiative meant to empower citizens on how to make informed choices,” said HRT.

HRT says it has so far engaged residents from Mabvuku, Tafara, Highfield, Glen Norah, Glen View, Mufakose, Budiriro, Kuwadzana, Chitungwiza St Mary’s and Seke Unit M, where those who managed to attend ‘meet the candidate’ debate meetings vehemently expressed great anger towards councillors whom they elected in 2013.

“One of the major issues raised by residents is the need for the councillor to enter into a social contract with the people to enhance accountability in the event that the respective councillor has won.

“They should personally be accountable to the people who voted them into office,” added the residents Trust.

HRT has urged the Government of Zimbabwe to halt all forms of corruption by causing the arrest and prosecution of all those politicians abusing their office and engaging in all forms of illicit deals including land sales against the provisions of the law.