A Critical Analysis of the Performance of Local Governments in Zimbabwe under the COVID-19 Pandemic
This paper examines the responses of urban local authorities in Zimbabwe to the COVID-19 pandemic because in the midst of a pandemic, local authorities are rightly positioned to minimise human cost, provide relief to communities and supply day to day service delivery. Specifically this study sought to undertake a critical analysis of the performance of local governments in Zimbabwe under the COVID-19 pandemic. The article reviews available literature and examples are drawn from three urban areas in Zimbabwe. The article notes that COVID-19 exacerbated a crisis that was already playing out in Zimbabwe and reveals that the local authorities were ill-prepared and ill-equipped to handle the pandemic and cannot handle a crisis, endemic or any catastrophic disaster. The paper further delves to looks at the lacklustre performance of urban local authorities and a major finding is that the central government policies have had a huge impact on the decline and free fall of urban local authorities’ service delivery. The key findings may be used to inform ongoing policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and improve future resilience.
Keywords:Local government, COVID-19, Service delivery
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