A community based Social Accountability Team (SAT),established by a community that works with Heal Zimbabwe from Makoni West has made strides in engaging its local Member of Parliament (MP) to account over the use of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
On the 4th of October 2019, the SAT conducted a successful awareness raising clean-up campaign at Tsindi Business Centre in Makoni West, Ward 16. The campaign was attended by approximately 200 community members, the majority of which were women. The objective of the campaign was to raise awareness on the importance of social accountability and conscientize rights holders on their rights that help them to hold duty bearers accountable. The campaign was attended by 22 duty bearers, 10 of which were Village Heads, 1 Headman, Councillor and a Chief. Honourable Jenfan Muswere who is the Member of Parliament for Makoni West constituency and Deputy Minister of Information, Communication and Courier Services also participated in the campaign.
After the cleanup campaign, the SAT then convened a dialogue platform where community members got an opportunity to ask pertinent questions to duty bearers. It is during this session that community members asked Honourable Muswere to explain the use and administration of the CDF.Honourable Muswere then took the community through a process where he defined the purpose of the CDF and how the community can benefit.” CDF is a government fund given back to local communities to help spearhead local development initiatives, before I got the allocation from government, I used personal funds from my foundation to fund some developmental projects in the ward, “he said. He went on to highlight that he will add more financial resources so that he can undertake several developmental projects in the constituency. He further explained that his CDF was administered by Councillors in the various wards for easy identification of projects. The MP also reported that he also donated building materials for the construction of a Mother’s shelter at a local clinic among other projects.
The social accountability initiatives are meant to help inculcate a culture of transparency and accountability between duty bearers and rights holders. They also help build trust and confidence and help in the development of communities. Heal Zimbabwe through its trained Social accountability teams will continue conducting activities that promote social accountability in districts such as Gokwe, Makoni, Chipinge, Buhera, Zaka, Bikita,Tsholotsho and Gutu among other areas.