The Mayor of Harare, Councillor Bernard Manyenyeni, was on Thursday elected president of the Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe (UCAZ) during the organisation’s 74th annual general meeting held in Beitbridge.
Clr Manyenyeni and his executive replaced the one led by Bulawayo mayor Mr Martin Moyo and will lead the organisation for the next two years.
Mr Moyo is the current Zimbabwe Local Government Association (Zilga) chairperson.
The new executive which include Shurugwi Town Council chairperson Clr Tsungai Makore (first vice president), Masvingo Mayor Clr Hubert Pfidze (second vice president), Redcliff Mayor Clr Freddy Kapuya (vice president) and committee members, Muchineripi Chinyanganya (Kadoma Mayor), Nicholas Hwindiri (Kariba Mayor) and Ester Senga the chairperson of Gokwe Town Council, was chosen through consensus.
In an interview on Thursday, Clr Manyenyeni said his immediate task was to address cross-cutting challenges that local authorities were facing.
“This is an honour to us as Harare City Council to be leading such an organisation.
“You will note that we are a capital city and hence strategically positioned with regards to issues of local government and pertinent issues affecting urban councils,” he said.
“It is important that we find ways as local authorities to earning the trust of residents and rate payers. Furthermore, we need to maximise on revenue to promote service delivery in our various areas”.
He said UCAZ should be used as a platform to share ideas and ensure that urban councils developed at the same wave length.
Clr Manyenyeni said some of the common challenges facing local authorities included decayed infrastructure due to financial constraints.
UCAZ secretary-general Mr Tserayi Machinda said local authorities had started engaging Minister Kasukuwere over high fees charged by EMA to conduct Environmental Impact Assessment.