Post-election chaos plunges Zim into service delivery crisis, says public researcher

The after-effects of Zimbabwe’s harmonised elections in August that has been marked by political party infighting, recalls and Zanu PF’s grasp of state power have had a negative impact on service delivery in the country, a public researcher has said.

The Public Policy Research Institute of Zimbabwe (PPRIZ) Research Fellow, Didymus Dewa, made these findings while addressing  various stakeholders in Bulawayo this week during a discussion of Zimbabwe’ post electoral and economic landscape.

According to Dewa, a number of factors related to the conduct of elections were now affecting the delivery of services at both levels of the local authority and government.

“There is a decline in service delivery while there is an upsurge in local governance conflicts amongst the government, councillors, management, workers, businesses and residents. Ratepayers’ debts are also ballooning because of failure to pay,” Dewa said.

The researcher said lack of service delivery was resulting in water insecurity, energy crisis, health insecurity causing Cholera, Dysentery and a deepening of climate vulnerability in cities. 

“Urban centres remain without development and there is ruralisation of urban areas,” Dewa remarked.

Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) Secretary for Administration, Thembelani Dube, concurred that the post election landscape in Zimbabwe has created a division between the rural and urban communities..

“What we have seen post elections is that there are usually two dominant parties.  Zanu PF is dominant in the rural areas and the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) is dominant in the urban areas. When we look at the results of the elections, we realise that Zanu PF has more people in the rural areas than the opposition in the urban areas,” Dube said.

“This means resources for service delivery will be channelled more towards the rural areas where the ruling party has more support while people  in the urban areas will be affected.”

Dube said the recalls seen almost across Zimbabwe affected both the councillors and their local authorities. 

“The recalls have a bearing on policies that are formulated and resolutions passed because the councillors now have to serve two masters. One master is the individual recalling people and the other master is the leader of the party. As a result, councillors will not be able to boldly stand for what they believe in for fear of offending either of their masters.”

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