Local governance in Zimbabwe has a chequered history. Despite high hopes for democratic local governance on the attainment of political independence in 1980, it has often defied democratic practice and is yet to bring tangible benefits to communities. Attempts at democratising local governance through the amendment of local government legislation have not yet brought about vibrant democratic practices. This article explores section 4A of the Urban Councils Act, which provides that the Minister of Local Government may appoint special interest councillors onto urban councils. It examines the extent to which this has enhanced or inhibited democratic local governance. It then proceeds to examine this phenomenon against regional instruments on local democracy and finally assesses whether it can stand the test of the freshly promulgated Constitution.

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