Communities in Makoni have expressed concern over the lack of accountability by Makoni Rural District Council (RDC) over resource allocation on road construction. This came out during a Social Accountability Dialogue organised by a Social Accountability Team (SAT) established by a community that works with Heal Zimbabwe in Makoni on 30 October 2020.The dialogue meeting was also conducted in partnership with Family Visions Child Trust in Makoni.
The meeting was attended by various duty bearers including the local councillor, Health committees, RDC representatives, Village Development Committees (VIDCOs), Ward Development Committees (WADCOs), Traditional leaders and 46 community members. The dialogue meeting provided a platform for VIDCOs and the Councillor to make presentations for their yearly achievements and allow citizens to input into the upcoming Council budget. As part of his presentation, the Councillor gave a breakdown on how he has utilised plough back funds.”In 2017 we received 4000 as plough back funds and we used the resources to buy chairs at the local school. In 2019 we used the funds to construct a waiting mothers shelter at the local clinic”, he said. Communities however expressed concern over lack of transparency and accountability by Makoni RDC especially over use of resources meant for road construction. “Let the Council management come and explain to the people where the problem is. We are contributing money towards road construction but to date the resources remain unaccounted for”, said one community member.
Other issues that came out during the dialogue meeting include abuse of fuel meant for road construction by individuals who were acting on behalf of the RDC.As part of the way forwad, the dialogue meeting resolved that the SAT was supposed to convene another dialogue with senior representatives from Makoni RDC to seek more answers on the use of resources for the road construction. The Social Accountability dialogues are part of Heal Zimbabwe’s advocacy initiative that seeks to promote social cohesion and improve service delivery within local communities. Cohesive communities help establish harmony so that people are tolerant of each other and live together in peace. Added to this, the dialogues also seek to bring the voices of citizens into governance, enabling citizens to monitor and provide feedback on the delivery of services, and helping to build trust between rights holders and duty bearers.