FORMER Health and Child Care minister Dr Henry Madzorera was sworn in as ward 10 councillor on a Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) ticket in Kwekwe on Thursday and is now posed to be elected the city’s mayor.
Speaking to The NewsHawks after the ceremony, Madzorera says the problems plaguing local councils, including Kwekwe, are largely caused by central government which is failing to stabilise the economy whilst grabbing all the money from local government.
Madzorera was minister of Health and Child Welfare in the inclusive government for five years and also served as senator for Kwekwe.
“This time around my party asked me to be in local government and that is a lot of trust that they invested in me. As you know, local authorities are the service providers and we need people at local authority level that can give the real tangible service to the citizens,” he said.
He added that serving in local government will be an uphill struggle as central government is taking a lot of the money that is supposed to be channeled to road maintenance, for instance.
“There is too much interference from central government, which I think has got some corrupt interference in it. Let the cities collect taxes and manage the roads like how it was done in the ’70s and ’80s. Our cities should look at the profitability of certain businesses that they used to run like the abattoir and the brewery and other businesses in that category,” he said.
“Those businesses used to generate a lot of income, but they have privatised. People still drink beer, so it should be profitable. Kwekwe city residents have been grappling with paying the exorbitant rates, with some high-density suburbs experiencing intermittent water outages despite the extremely high rates,” he said.
During election campaigns, Zanu PF blamed opposition parties for a dip in service delivery by local authorities.
Madzorera however blamed the high cost of purifying water and maintaining a sewerage reticulation system on poor governance at national level.
“The problem of rates and water is because of a government that is failing to stabilise the economy when inflation hits our pockets. The top thing is to change the government at the top. Unfortunately, Zanu PF has decided to steal the election in the way that it has. I believe in zero-based budgeting, not this method of putting a percentage on what it was last year; we will never catch up with inflation. We must be efficient in our use of money, not just loading the citizens so that the little we have can go far,” Madzorera said.
CCC leader Nelson Chamisa at a rally in Kwekwe just before the 23 August general elections endorsed Madzorera as the potential mayoral candidate.
Madzorera pledged to improve social services through the provision of high quality water and sanitation services, refuse removal, health promotion framework in the city and high quality affordable healthcare delivery.
“Every woman must deliver in a safe environment and we must make it affordable to every one, even the poorest of the poor in the city. If we make sure that water and sanitation are properly provided within the city, we won’t have any of these primitive diseases in the city like cholera and typhoid,” he said.