The nexus between Ministerial Interventionism and the performance of Metropolitan Councils in Zimbabwe


  • Sharon Hofisi University of Zimbabwe
  • Tafadzwa C. Chisambiro University of Zimbabwe


Local council performance, Legislative performance, Public administration


­This article adopts a heuristic approach to analysing the mixed governance system in Metropolitan Councils in Zimbabwe. While section 5 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, 2013, espouses a tier system of governance that has central government, metropolitan councils and local authorities, it also allows the Minister to intervene in the affairs of a Metropolitan Council. In this milieu, interventionism and interference bear significantly on how Metropolitan Councils such as Harare and Bulawayo run their affairs. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate that interventionism-interference dichotomy is in most case explained by the fact that the responsible minister belongs to a political party in government, whose party may have few councillors in the Metropolitan Council. ­ Rough a qualitative methodology, this study argues that the heuristic model permits for logical analysis of the policy interventions that emanate from the mixed government system of administering Metropolitan Councils. ­The paper ends that ministerial interventions or central-local government relations hugely affect the performance of Metropolitan Councils. ­The article recommends that the normative framework entrenched in the Constitution be embossed and that proper reviews of dismissals of Council employees be made lest aspersions be cast on how the mixed government system is weaponised against party rivals.