Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has urged the electorate to use the forthcoming elections to vote out corrupt councillors as they are derailing national development, especially in urban areas.
He was speaking in Bulawayo yesterday during the third anniversary of the National Clean-up Campaign in Mzilikazi suburb.
The clean-up campaign was held at Madamara Shopping Centre and it was attended by Cabinet Ministers, Environmental Management Authority officials, security chiefs, residents among other citizens.
It started shortly after 3PM as President Mnangagwa had initially officiated at the Zimbabwe Open University’s 19th graduation ceremony in Harare.
He arrived in Bulawayo shortly after 2:30PM aboard an Air Zimbabwe plane.
After the clean-up campaign the President proceeded to Barbourfields Stadium where he delivered his address.
President Mnangagwa said it was worrying that members of the public continue to pay rates while service delivery is declining.
He said the electorate should, in the coming elections, punish elected council officials who abuse local authority resources.
The country is set to hold by-elections next year and harmonized polls in 2023.
“I further urge local authorities to stop the abuse of resources of rate-payers, which has resulted in failure to collect and manage waste, among other acts and omissions.
Sadly, this has become a reflection of the quality of councillors and management entrusted with the affairs of our local authorities, especially those in the urban areas.
The forthcoming elections present an opportunity for them to be voted out of office,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said his Government remains committed to implementing people-centred policies.
“As a caring Government, my administration will continue to provide resources to accelerate the devolution and decentralisation agenda to ensure citizens enjoy the quality service that they deserve,” said President Mnangagwa.
He commended society for embracing the National Clean-up Campaign.
“This has seen community and sector-based waste management taking centre stage and changes in the narratives of the waste management frameworks in the country.
It is also pleasing that some sectors have embraced the Integrated Waste Management System, targeting waste reduction through recycling, composting and proper disposal.
The promotion of recycling as a major waste management strategy, in line with National Development Strategy 1 (NDS-1), has a potential to create green jobs for our citizens,” he said.
“Continued growth of recycling activities across the country is pleasing and presents opportunities for drastically reducing most of the waste management challenges the country has been facing.
This ensures a clean, safe and healthy environment for present and future generations.”
The President said there is a need for communities to increase their efforts to make the National Clean-up Campaign sustainable.
Going forward, he added, local authorities should take a leading role in the implementation of the campaign.
“I therefore, challenge all local authorities to now be the cornerstone of this programme by effectively carrying out their mandate as champions of waste management in the country.
This will undoubtedly require the setting up of sustainable waste management frameworks, including the development of local environmental action plans,” said President Mnangagwa.
The President said as the country heads into a new year, it should heighten waste management efforts including the development and introduction of new innovations that will contribute towards achieving Vision 2030.
He said the programme requires participation of all societal groups including politicians, traditional and communal leadership, religious leaders, academia, captains of industry and commerce and ordinary citizens.
The National Clean-up Campaign is conducted on every first Friday of a new month.
President Mnangagwa said despite the outbreak of Covid-19 it was encouraging to see that the programme is still receiving a lot of support from various stakeholders. — @nqotshili