The impact of weaknesses in the Urban Councils Act on efficient and effective service delivery in urban local councils in Zimbabwe
MetadataShow full item record
This study focuses on the impact on service provision arising from uncertainties in the UC Act. There are serious problems with the delivery of basic services in urban areas: including frequent interruptions in water supply, persistent power cuts, uncollected refuse, poor health services and dilapidated infrastructure. The purpose of this study is to highlight specific weaknesses in the UC Act and examine how these contribute to poor service delivery. The specific weaknesses to be examined are the unfettered powers of the minister, lack of legal certainty on powers and functions of UCs, limited revenue generating powers and lack of autonomy in recruiting senior council administration. First, UCs exercise delegated powers from central government. The minister has powers to give directions on matters of policy, suspend, reverse, or rescind council resolutions. There is no legal authority to check and balance the unfettered powers of the minister. Poor service delivery may be attributed in part to the unfettered powers of the minister. Secondly, UCs do not have devolved fiscal powers. As agents of central government, UCs can only levy those taxes and borrow money as authorised by the minister. The limited capacities of UCs to generate own revenue impacts negatively on the capacity of UCs to respond to the needs of the communities they serve.