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Town clerks under spotlight

Government has directed town clerks, town secretaries and chief executives for Harare, Chitungwiza, Ruwa and Epworth councils to sign performance-based contracts so that their work can be evaluated and corrective action taken if they fail to ensure the provision of quality services to ratepayers.

Speaking during a tour of Epworth Local Board projects last week, Harare Provincial Development Coordinator Mr Tafadzwa Muguti said councils must feed into the integrated management system of Government.

"We need to have a performance contract with local authorities. Government cannot only have performance contracts with ministries with the ministries failing to have performance contracts with the local authorities," he said.

"So l am expecting that as the PDC, there is an opportunity to have performance contracts with all the town secretaries for Ruwa and Epworth as well as town clerks for Harare and Chitungwiza."

Mr Muguti said the performance contracts should also be extended to councillors since they have oversight on council manangement.

He promised to visit all local authorities under his purview to check progress on the 100-day cycles every three months or four times per year.

"I will make these official visits. But in between, my office is working with them daily on key projects to ensure that we are driving development. But one thing, which is critical especially for areas like Epworth is how can we create an industrial hub," he said.

Mr Muguti urged local authorities to ensure that most businesses in the province are formalised so that they contribute to national development through payment of taxes, where necessary, and creation jobs.

"There is a feeling that the fewer jobs available are a result of more imports and the smuggling of goods, which can be addressed by opening more factories and ramping up production on existing ones.

"Government's thrust this year is to boost production, hence the establishment of investor friendly laws.

"We cannot have a situation where we allow the factories to close so that the informal business can take over. I believe that what people need to sustain themselves is employment and if you create the jobs l am sure we can be able to address a number of issues," he said.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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