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Eastern Africa Social Science Research Review

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Assessment of Urban Governance in Zimbabwe: Case of the City of Gweru

S R Mhlahlo

Abstract




The objective of this paper is to assess urban governance in Zimbabwe with specific reference to the City of Gweru. In Zimbabwe urban governance is the immediate responsibility of Urban Councils in co-governance with the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development, which has an overall supervisory role. Chapter 29: 15 of the Urban Councils Act of 1995, revised in 1996, provides for the establishment of municipalities and towns and the administration of local boards, municipal and town councils. It confers functions and powers that impose duties upon municipal and town councils, as well as local boards. In Zimbabwe urban governance is not totally autonomous. The responsibilities and functions of urban governance are often shared and take place within a policy framework, which is both set by national politicians and over which those same national politicians will want to exert influence and direction. The issue is less about autonomy and more about inter- dependence and balance. The paper explores the view that if urban councils are to be government in the real sense of the word, then they must have a strategic capacity for accountability, efficiency and transparency to help in combating corruption, urban poverty and enhancing civic engagement. Through the use of interviews, questionnaires and minutes of council and committee meetings, the research also examines the relations between councillors, electorate, officials, and central government in the urban governance of Gweru. The study concludes by discussing recommendations for good urban governance in Gweru.

Eastern African Social Sciences Review Vol. 23 (1) 2007: pp. 107



http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/eas.2007.0003
AJOL African Journals Online