Emmanuel Hove Mhike
Rural Ward Councilors should establish offices for accessibility, reliability as well as for effective information and records keeping, it can be established.
In an interview with this publication, The Zvishavane District Ward 15 Councilor Mziyabo Simwango encouraged fellow Councilors to have offices in their respective Ward centers and do away with the outdated and retrogressive come to my homestead’ tradition.
“I establish a Ward office at Indaba Ward center after I had difficulties keeping records and promises. This office is making everything easier and manageable. If I’m not around my personal assistant will be available taking note of everything that transpired during the day. An agent of community development should not use a family homestead as a Ward office or center that comes with a lot of inconveniences for the residents” said Councilor Mziyabo.
Councilor Mziyabo also added that having Offices allows the Councilor to have crucial and detailed records that can be availed anytime when the need arises.
“A Councilor should be well versed with the demographics of the ward, the population distribution, vulnerable people, farmer’s groups/clusters and other essential details that help government and non-governmental agencies in research, survey, donations as well as in assisting Community-led development,” he said.
Daniel Ndhlovu, a research officer at Muonde Trust (a community-based organization) hailed Mziyabo’s Office initiative and encouraged other rural Councilors to follow suit.
“Working with Councillor Mziyabo’s Indaba Ward 15 is so easier and exciting. He has the population statistics of his area that enabled us to know the number of farming inputs needed as well as masks needed to make sure everyone in his Ward is safe from COVID-19. When we distributed COVID relief food hampers in 2021, he had clear records of vulnerable people and their distribution within his Ward. If other Councilors take a leaf from him, it will be easier for government and non-governmental agencies to effectively help and engage Communities at the margins,” said Ndhlovu.
Mziyabo Simwango is a long-serving Councilor for Indaba Ward 15 in Mazvihwa, South East of Zvishavane district. He has established a two-roomed office at Vhugwi shopping center. Typical of a company Office, the office has files for incoming and outgoing records as well as visitors register and suggestion boxes. The Office has a receptionist and personal assistant who take care of residents’ inquiries in the Councilor’s absences.