At the cornerstone of government policy is the understanding that local government is concerned with local democracy and the decentralisation of designated powers and responsibilities from central government to lower tier structures. It has therefore been seen fit to establish sub-national institutions in the form of Urban and Rural District Councils in the urban
The local government system, especially for urban areas dates back to the early 1890s with the Salisbury Sanitary Board having been established in 1891. The first municipal law was passed in 1897, which converted Salisbury and Bulawayo into municipalities. The municipal council was patterned on the British tradition, in terms of its functions and finance. The urban settlements were patterned on racial lines in terms of residential areas.