The ministry of local government has stated that councillors selected under the women’s quota will carry out their duties the same way as the elected ward councillors.
Director of Communications and Advocacy in the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works, GabrielMasvora, said the role of a PR councillor does not differ at all from that of the elected councillor, save for the fact that PR councillors are not dedicated to specific wards.
The clarity follows concerns raised by various stakeholders calling for the enactment of legislation that would guide the operations of PR councillors.
The stakeholders said they were afraid that the lack of clear guidelines may result in clashes between the PR councillors and the elected ones.
By Section 277(4) of the Constitution, each local authority countrywide, must have thirty percent of the total number of councillors reserved for the women party-list councillors.
“A PR councillor is just like any other councillor elected. The only difference is that, unlike a councillor who represents a specific ward, a PR councillor does not represent a specific ward but is there to represent the interest of everyone in that local authority. Their expertise cuts across the interest of just those people who stay in a ward,” Masvora said.
“People need to remember that councillors’ duties, once elected, are not only confined to representing their wards, they represent the city interests as a whole that is why they assume roles of mayors, council chairperson, committee members (housing, finance etc) among others and contribute to debates for the whole city not just the ward they represent.”
Masvora further noted that when it comes to council business, they perform the same duties.
“The only difference is on Wards otherwise when it comes to council business, they are the same and perform the same duties and just like the elected councillors their term also expires when the country holds another general election,” he said.