By RadioVOP Correspondent
Harare, October 02, 2016 – COUNCILLORS from two of the country’s wards have reaffirmed their commitment to transparency and accountability in the performance of their duties.
This was at a meeting held in Harare on Saturday where the community leaders further demonstrated their commitment to the good governance tenets through signing a declaration.
The Election Resource Centre (ERC) organised inter-community exchange meeting took place at the Harare Gardens and was aimed at bringing together local leaders and citizens from various provinces to exchange notes on local governance issues.
The meeting zeroed in on transparency and accountability and was held under the auspices of the Communities in Action programme which the pro-democracy lobby has been championing for months.
Councillors and ordinary citizens said during the signing of the “Harare Gardens Declaration” that the development will go a long way in cementing their relationship at a time community leaders have often been blamed for ineptitude and corruption, among a slew of accusations.
Hurungwe resident, Takesure Musiiwa commended the “audacious decision” by the local leaders.
“We commend the audacious decisions that our local leaders have taken. We recognise that much more remains to be done to ensure transparency and accountability at all levels of our community,” Musiiwa said.
Goromonzi West ward four councillor, Taurai Nhamburo, who also signed the declaration, said more needs to be done in the communities where there are communication between councillors and residents is often at a minimal until the election period.
“We recognise that in spite of the progress we have made, a lot needs to be done in the community; we need to empower our citizens to have access to reliable financial services,” Nhamburo said.
Most councillors, some with little formal education, are often blamed for failure to comprehend complex local governmence issues, in the process failing to discharge their oversight role on local authority managers to the detriment of their areas.
Mutasa rural district council ward four councillor, Bhosi Gwarimbo said the declaration will go a long way in improving his work.
Goromonzi ward four citizen, Precious Bopoto said local leaders must come with action plans that involve the marginalised.
“I just want to encourage the leaders to take action to combat women and youth abuse at the same time come up with more initiatives that encourage the participation of youths and people living with disabilities,” Bopoto said.
The ERC executive director, Tawanda Chimhini, said local leaders must be accountable to the people at the same time must create an enabling environment for participation by all citizens.
“We want the local leaders to recognise the significance of enabling the full participation of all sectors and segments of our society, especially women, youth, people with disabilities, small and medium enterprises, to achieving inclusive growth,” Chimhini said.
The Communities in Action campaign intends to increase and strengthen the organised and active involvement of citizens on local governance issues.
Much of the work focuses on helping citizens engage local leaders on substantive issues of community action.