The ruling ZANU PF has accused the opposition of ruining towns and cities until they resemble rural areas.
The remarks were made by Tendai Chirau, ZANU PF’s Deputy Secretary for Youth Affairs, during the party’s Harare Province by-election launch in Chitungwiza this Monday.
Most urban local authorities have been under the stewardship of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) since the turn of the millennium when the party took over from the ruling party.
Chirau said he was grateful that people were encouraged to unite against the opposition. He said:
Let’s unite. The opposition has turned our towns into rural areas. Let’s take back all seats.
Local authorities have for years failed to deliver public goods and services such as potable water, sewer reticulation, road maintenance and garbage collection.
They cite a lack of adequate resources saying ratepayers are not honouring their obligations whilst the central government is not consistently giving them the revenue from the national purse.
The opposition also accuses the central government of interfering with local government business.
ZANU PF which has had ministers heading the Local Government Ministry deny interference, it says the central government has an oversight role over local government authorities.
This is happening ahead of the March by-elections and 2023 harmonised elections.