Zimbabwe fully supports currents efforts by SADC member states to ensure that the local government sector is fully integrated into the mainstream regional blocs activities so that the sector receives full support for development programmes.
Vice President Jonh Nkomo made the remarks at the official opening of the SADC Ministers of Local Government Forum meeting in Harare.
Cde Nkomo said the latest efforts by SADC member states to ensure that the local government sector gets the recognition it deserves through lobbying for its institutionalisation are commendable as this assists in its full integration into the regional blocâ€™s mainstream activities.
He said Zimbabwe rallies behind initiatives such as the establishment of a local government desk in the region so that its programmes are fully funded and supported.â€œAs a nation we are fully behind such efforts by SADC member states to ensure that the local government sector gets the recognition it deserves,â€ he said.
Turning to the challenges in the local government sector in Zimbabwe, Cde Nkomo noted that it is unfortunate that government has failed to fully support this sector resulting in the deterioration of service delivery.
He said, â€˜We have virtually failed to support this critical sector because of sanction- induced economic challenges which have resulted in the deterioration of service delivery.â€
The chairman of the SADC Local Government Ministersâ€™ Forum, Mr. Jerry Ekandyo, said the local government sector should be fully supported so that it fulfils its role as the vehicle for development.
â€œWe are all aware that the local government sector is the basis of the development of any country and as such it should be rendered the necessary support,â€ he said.
The SADC Ministers of Local Government Forum, which began in the capital on Wednesday, drew representatives from the SADC region and comes at a time ministers are lobbying for the institutionalisation of the local government sector in the mainstream SADC structures.
It was also attended by governors and resident ministers from three provinces, government officials and regional ambassadors accredited to Zimbabwe.