Zimbabwe Council of Churches hailed for devolution awareness in rural areas

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Emmanuel Hove

Zvishavane’s Ngomayebani Ward 7 and Ward 2 residents have hailed the Zimbabwe Council of Churches’ (ZCC) efforts to educate rural citizens on the meaning and essence of devolution.

This is a welcome development considering that there have been calls for more effort to be directed towards facilitation of broad based community conversations that inform the rural populace on crucial government initiatives.

Speaking in an interview with this publication, Ngomayebani Ward 7 Councilor, Peter Jonas Matanana expressed gratitude to ZCC for facilitating empowering conversations.

“The kind of devolution awareness my Ward is getting from ZCC is critical not just in community development but in national building. Devolution is still a new word for many of my colleagues hence this need to spread beyond Ward 7,” said Matanana.

Speaking on the sidelines of the workshop, Bishop Eniase Chagwiza of the Power Hour Ministry said he had no idea what devolution was all about besides the word being popular on the airwaves.

“Today is one of the greatest days of my life. I like learning new things and it was phenomenal to learn about an initiative that gives grassroots people autonomy and powers to decide on how to distribute and use their own resources,” said Bishop Chagwiza.

Linda Ganyani, a Ward 7 committee member said the one of the highlights of the workshop was learning how the devolution framework can be broadcasted to reach a wider audience and ensure stakeholder buy in.

“I realized today that broadcasting means much more than radio and TV programs. I learnt that every citizen can be a broadcaster as well as a stakeholder of devolution. Also through follow-ups and demanding feedbacks to initiated projects we can hold our leaders accountable,” said Ganyani.

ZCC Programs Officer, Joshua Mhlanga said he was impressed by the support from Zvishavane Churches, councilors, media and other stakeholders critical in the implementation of devolution.

“I am impressed by the eagerness to learn by the Ward 2 and Ward 7 residents. Also the support we are receiving from the district’s key actors in the implementation of devolution is encouraging. We have received so many requests to cover more wards and we are going to seriously take that into consideration,” said Mhlanga.

Devolution is the buzzy word in the current African development discourse. In Zimbabwe, the framework for devolution is enshrined in Section 265 of the national constitution. The government of Zimbabwe identifies devolution as a key pillar in its quest to achieve an upper middle income economy status by 2030. However, Implementation of devolution brings with it broader capacity and communication demands at different tiers of government.

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