The Centre for Community Development in Zimbabwe (CCDZ) has launched the Local Governance and Service Delivery forums aimed at increasing citizen participation in local governance and service delivery issues around the country.
The forums will be held in various areas in Kadoma, Kwekwe and Chinhoyi with the ultimate objective being improved service delivery through increased citizen participation.
As part of the objectives, the CCDZ is also seeking to enhance interaction between duty bearers and residents.
On Friday, CCDZ hosted a discussion forum which was attended by residents from various wards in Kadoma.
Aspiring councilors and residents’ associations were also in attendance at the discussion forum.
Residents who attended the meeting concurred that there was need for collective action if service delivery is to improve in the town. This, the residents said, requires an apolitical approach.
Kadoma is one of the urban areas in Zimbabwe which has been hard hit by poor service delivery with erratic water supplies, non-collection of refuse, poor sewer reticulation and bad road networks being the norm.
Speaking during the Kadoma meeting, CCDZ Advocacy Officer, George Makoni said ensuring effective service delivery was at the core of his organization’s work.
“As CCDZ, we are striving to ensure effective service delivery in various communities around the country and it is through these platforms that we are trying to ensure that issues affecting communities are discussed and forwarded to responsible authorities for recourse.
“We are also striving to bring together residents and duty bearers so that the duty bearers can have an appreciation of the needs of their communities. We believe that enhanced citizen participation in issues of local governance and service delivery will certainly lead to some form of improvement,” said Makoni.
During the meeting, residents bemoaned that politics was negatively affecting effective service delivery in the town.
Kadoma has 17 wards with the MDC-T led by Nelson Chamisa controlling nine of the wards while the other eight councilors are from Zanu (PF).
“There is a lot political bickering among the councilors and in the end; it is service delivery that is suffering. But the most important thing that we have learnt as residents is that we do not need to put on the political jacket when we discuss issues of service delivery because they affect everyone regardless of political affiliation,” said Benias Gundani.
Another resident said the lack of platforms to discuss service delivery and citizen action was also impacting negatively on effective service delivery in Kadoma.
“The major problem is that we do not have proper platforms to discuss issues affecting us and our voice is not collective at the end of the day. But with these kind of platforms, we can be able to collectively discuss our problems and engage duty bearers,” said Simangaliso Nkomo.