Be ac­count­able to the elec­torate, coun­cil­lors told

The Manica Post - - Local News/advertorial - Love­more Kadzura Rusape Cor­re­spon­dent

MAKONI Ru­ral Dis­trict coun­cil­lors have been chal­lenged to be trans­par­ent and so­cially ac­count­able to the elec­torate in their op­er­a­tions in or­der to fos­ter a spirit of co­he­sion and mean­ing­ful de­vel­op­ment in their re­spec­tive wards.

Speak­ing at the of­fi­cial open­ing of a two-day so­cial ac­count­abil­ity work­shop, dis­trict ad­min­is­tra­tor, Mr Dar­ling­ton Museka said coun­cil­lors were the key driv­ers of ru­ral eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and must pro­mote par­tic­i­pa­tory de­vel­op­ment and cit­i­zen em­pow­er­ment.

“As lead­ers, coun­cil­lors must demon­strate that they about the com­mu­ni­ties that they lead. We en­cour­age you to be ser­vant lead­ers who put the in­ter­ests of the ma­jor­ity first. En­sure that you dis­pense your du­ties in an in­clu­sive, par­tic­i­pa­tory and col­lab­o­ra­tive man­ner, which ul­ti­mately re­duces con­flict and in­creases co­op­er­a­tion.

“As coun­cil­lors you are ex­pected to cham­pion de­vel­op­ment in your ar­eas of ju­ris­dic­tion.

``Shun all cor­rupt ten­den­cies and also work in tan­dem with other Govern­ment struc­tures in your wards. Coun­cil­lors must re­spect the laws of the land and avoid abus­ing their po­si­tions. You must re­spect the Con­sti­tu­tion of Zim­babwe and the Ru­ral Dis­trict Coun­cils Act,” said Mr Museka.

Fam­ily Vi­sions Trust ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, Mr Obert Gonzo whose or­gan­i­sa­tion or­gan­ised the work­shop said ac­count­abil­ity by those in au­thor­ity led to re­spon­si­ble lead­er­ship.

He added that roles and du­ties of coun­cil­lors must be clearly de­fined so that they be­came an­swer­able for their ac­tions.

“So­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity is a process that em­pow­ers cit­i­zens to make their lead­ers such as coun­cil­lors re­spon­sive to their needs and de­mands. It gives com­mu­ni­ties the power to de­mand qual­ity ser­vice pro­vi­sion and re­spon­sive­ness of the coun­cil­lors to is­sues af­fect­ing com­mu­ni­ties. In sit­u­a­tions where ac­count­abil­ity is re­spected, lead­ers con­sult and give feed­back to the com­mu­ni­ties in which they are liv­ing.

“Com­mu­ni­ties on the other hand are able to ask their lead­ers ques­tions or seek clar­ity on ser­vices they are ex­pect­ing or get­ting. Cit­i­zens and lead­ers can­not ex­ist with­out en­gag­ing each other. Ac­count­able lead­ers make com­mu­ni­ties they lead co­op­er­a­tive, re­spon­si­ble and less an­tag­o­nis­tic. Be­ing ac­count­able ben­e­fits not only cit­i­zens but lead­ers also,” he said.

Mr Gonzo added that peo­ple be­come sup­port­ive, col­lab­o­ra­tive and re­spect­ful to their lead­ers when they are happy with the man­ner in which lead­ers are an­swer­able for their ac­tions and re­spon­sive to lo­cal prob­lems.

“When coun­cil­lors are ac­count­able, they in­crease trans­parency, re­duce mis­trust from peo­ple and pre­vent cor­rup­tion and nepo­tism,” said Mr Gonzo.

Makoni is the big­gest dis­trict in the coun­try with 39 wards and an es­ti­mated pop­u­la­tion of 380 000 dwellers.

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