City Council must now walk the talk

09 Oct, 2018 - 08:10 0 Views
City Council must now walk the talk

The ManicaPost

THE 100-day plan launched by the Mutare City Council last week, which has identified targeted areas that need urgent address in order to improve service delivery in the short term, is a welcome development.
In line with Government policy of coming up with measurable targets under the results based management system, council’s 100-day plan, which ends on December 31, is well on course.
It is no secret that Mutare, like most urban councils in the country, is facing a plethora of difficulties with respect to service delivery.
Water is unavailable in some parts of the city, sewer lines are bursting daily discharging raw sewerage into water bodies like Sakubva and Nyamauru rivers.
Roads are in a bad state, especially feeder roads in the high density suburb, while public lighting is poor.
Council clinics have no drugs let alone contemporary equipment to deal with the ever-increasing population.
Rented council houses in Sakubva are an eyesore.
They are derelict and they pose a serious danger to the lives of inhabitants. Over the years some of the old structures have collapsed.
The Town Clerk, Mr Joshua Maligwa and the Mayor, Councillor Blessing Tandi, promised ratepayers that they would put their heads on the block and ensure that they meet the targets as outlined in the 100-day plan.
A total of $2,3million has been budgeted for the attainment of the goals and it is refreshing to note that the bulk of the money is already there.
What is left is for the city fathers and management to crack the whip and set development in motion.
It’s one thing to plan, strategise and achieve something and another to walk the talk.
Great plans and ideas usually die and blue prints gather dust on shelves if stakeholders fail to take action.
By reading through the 100-day plan, one is left smiling because the deliverables captured therein will greatly improve the lives of ratepayers if the desired goals are attained by December 31.
It is as clear as day that by giving itself time frames and quantifying the amount of work that should be completed, council has prepared an examination for itself.
In this development test, the ratepayers are the markers.
Come December 31, ratepayers will simply grab a copy of the 100-day plan document; compare the contents against the actual work on the ground.
If work is done it’s a plus but if the targets fail to be achieved in the absence of reasonable explanation, it means that tasked to do the job have failed the people.
With managers and senior staff members now renewing their contracts based on performance, it is everyone’s hope that the attainment of the 100-day plan will have a big impact on performance appraisals.
The 100-day plan was somewhat silent on how the local authority was going to tackle the non-payment of salaries.
This is an important issue, which if not worked upon will derail the plan.
It must be noted that a well paid worker is a motivated human resource.
The attainment of the set goals is a function of worker morale.
Yes, it is impossible for the local authority to clear the salary arrears overnight but the workers must be convinced and see that their employer is making frantic efforts to deposit something in their banks.
Council must commit itself to clearing the arrears. Without that service delivery will continue to suffer.
For any social project to succeed it needs the input of the society and that is only possible through rigorous social marketing.
This 100-day plan must not be kept at the Civic Centre but rather it should be sold to the people so that ratepayers will have a buy-in. When that happens development is assured.

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