Residents of Chiredzi urge elected officials to work together for community development

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Residents of Ward 30 of Chiredzi urged elected officials to end tensions between political parties and collectively focus on serving the community in a transparent and non-partisan manner when elected. Speaking at a community engagement meeting facilitated by Community Tolerance Reconciliation and Development (COTRAD), residents expressed concern over the ongoing clashes between Ward 30 Councilor Mr Simbanegavi and the Legislature of Chiredzi West, Mr. Farai Musikavanhu.

Residents say Mr. Musikavanhu deliberately bypasses the elected opposition councilor in Constituency Development Committee (CDC) meetings, programs and other government development programs in the ward. Residents revealed that currently the two officials are clashing over the construction of the Muleme Secondary School blocks. Muleme School is the only government secondary school in Hippo Valley Estate and has only two completed apprenticeship blocks. Consequently, some students learn outdoors and in unfinished blocks. The Legislature is accused of trying to prevent the opposition councilor from supporting the school with building materials purchased by the Neighborhood Development Committee (WADCO) through the Chiredzi Council which disbursed recovery fund. It is reported that the lawmaker promises to provide needed construction aid to the school himself through the ruling party and government support.

However, residents urged officials to work together to improve and promote development in the neighborhood and the constituency as a whole. “We believe in working together as a community and/or among public officials to achieve development and lasting peace in our society. Civil servants should be exemplary in the defense of peace and community development. Tensions and political clashes aggravate polarization and affect the delivery of social services. When public servants are elected, they must serve communities and everyone equally and fairly despite political considerations,” said one resident.

Residents added that they welcome any form of help from anyone willing to help with the construction of the school and other projects. However, residents have urged public officials to always let people know if the aid they are providing comes from their donations or from the government, parliament and/or council. This helps community members monitor and track transparency and accountability in the use of public funds.

The inhabitants implored the public authorities and other stakeholders to facilitate meetings bringing together the elected officials in conflict.

Source: Community Tolerance, Reconciliation and Development (COTRAD)


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