By Promise Dube
The newly elected 29 councillors in Bulawayo will be sworn in on Wednesday at the Council Chambers of the City Hall Municipal Building.
This comes after the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works informed all local authorities that the day to swear in councillors would be communicated to them because the decision was not made at the political party level.
Some municipal councils intended to hold the event sooner, but the Local Government Ministry stopped them, informing them that the ministry would advise each individual local authority in the country of the dates of their councillors’ swearing in.
“This will be done according to the Urban Councils Act. All planned swearing in ceremonies for tomorrow are cancelled,” said Permanent Secretary in the Local Government and Public Works Ministry, Zvinechimwe Churu in a letter to all Town Clerks of Municipalities, Chief Executive Officers of Rural District Councils and Town Secretaries of Local Area Boards dated on September 3, 2023.
Churu noted that the councillors’ swearing-in ceremonies would be done according to the law and stated that according to Zimbabwe’s constitution, the swearing in of councillors was done on the ninth day after the announcement of results, which is when councillors assume office.
“As you are aware, the results of the General Elections were announced on August 26, 2023, and these included Councilors in terms of Section 277 of the Constitution, assuming office on the ninth day after the announcement of the results of the general elections,” he said.
The permanent secretary said before councillors start working they were supposed to vow before the town clerk of the chief executive office.
“Section 47(3) of the Urban Councils Act [Chapter 29:15] and Section 30 (3) of the Rural District Councils Act [Chapter 29:15] furthermore provide that before undertaking any duty as a councillor, the councillors shall take and subscribe before the Town clerk of Chief Executive Officer such oath of loyalty and office as may be prescribed,” Churu stated.