HARARE: Residents have been urged to select selfless leaders who are not influenced by partisan politics in a bid to promote quality service delivery in the urban councils.
Harare Residents Trust Director, Precious Shumba said they are making efforts to concertize residents to desist from being influenced by politics and vote for councillors who are men and women of integrity, with a traceable record in the communities they live.
“As Harare Residents Trust we are making progress in educating residents concerning qualities of good leaders so that they can be guided when choosing their council representatives. We have previously experienced challenges after residents voted for incompetent councillors because they would be representing the political parties they support, but some of them fail to fulfil their duties. We want residents to know that politics can only divide us but our relations as residents will remain forever,” said Shumba.
“We cannot talk of representatives who do not utter a word in council chambers and claim to represent the people. Some of them take money from homeless people and promise to give them nonexistent stands. We expect to have councillors who follow up issues and live among the people,” he added.
He added that councillors must be guided by the interests of the communities that they lead and not by their self-interests.
“When Councilors were recalled from their political parties some residents celebrated as they noticed that some of them did not deserve to be in those positions. Good councillors must have a sense of belonging to the people and attachment to the community needs,” Shumba said.
ZINATHA representative Mr Amos Mapingure said residents in the rural areas give respect to their traditional leaders that is why they are more united as compared to people living in urban areas.
“In the rural areas, traditional leaders are given so much respect such that councillors have lesser powers than the chiefs and village heads. Community meetings are held, everyone attends despite the differences in political affiliation,” Mapingure said.
“This is the opposite with what happens in urban areas where it’s difficult for people from different political parties to attend the same meetings without insulting each other,” he added.
Many councillors from different towns and cities have been implicated in corrupt activities with some of them being involved in selling nonexistent stands and failing to deliver required services.