Residents and local governance experts have called for a change to the system allowing the recalling of Councilors by other politicians.
Instead they say referendums, involving the voters, should be used to decide whether a Councilor can be recalled.
Residents Orgs Are Shocked at the Abuse of Power
The sentiments were expressed during a national meeting of residents, convened in the aftermath of debilitating recalls of various Councilors by the MDC-T due to factional differences in their party.
According to the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA), “the situation has disoriented many urban local authorities in Zimbabwe”.
“The Residents Association agreed that recalling of elected representatives be done through a referendum in order to restore the citizen’s voice in the removal of elected officials”, it said.
At the meeting residents’ leaders slammed the on-going recall of Councillors by the Thokozani Khupe-led party as factional fights escalate between her camp and the MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa.
Residents Associations lamented over the abuse of the powers of recall by her party and called for an urgent reform to the powers of recall given to political parties in the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
By-Elections will be expensive
Participants to the meeting pointed out that the recalls will have a negative impact on service delivery and will further push residents to the periphery of decision-making processes as they will be left without representation.
“The recalls are not beneficiary to the voter”, said a representative from Zimbabwe Election Support Network.
The recalls will see a dent into the national budget as the government is going to spend US18 Million on by-elections earmarked for December this year.
Residents Associations have since resolved to call for an immediate halt of the “recalls” through engagement of the warring MDC factions.
“This is high time that Residents Associations engage ZANU PF, MDC Alliance and MDC-T as these recalls have a potential to plunge the country into a crisis, in fact it’s a national crisis”, said Mr Mfundo Mlilo former CHRA Director and Independent Local Government expert.
Twenty one residents associations from the country’s ten provinces took part in the meeting.