Following the failure of social service delivery, continued centralisation of power and decision making in the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing added to plummeting local governance challenges, more than 700 delegates drawn from Chitungwiza urban and Manyame rural convened and attended the Chitungwiza Regional Residents’ Convention on the 16th of September 2017. The Convention which was aimed at taking stock of the myriad of challenges bedevilling residents of Chitungwiza and Manyame rural, primarily focusing on the continued deterioration in the state of service delivery and centralisation of decision making and the resultant exclusion of residents in decision making processes, was held at Talichim church in Chitungwiza.
12 residents associations and civil society organizations leaders including those from the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA), Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET), Platform for Youth Development (PYD), Youth Agenda Trust (YAT), Chitungwiza Residents and Ratepayers Association (CHIRRA), Chitungwiza Progressive Residents Association (CHIPRA) and the Chitungwiza Community Development Network (CCDN) among others graced the residents’ convention and delivered solidarity messages on the concerted efforts shown by the Chitungwiza and Manyame rural residents in terms of improving service delivery in their communities and enhancing citizen participation in community development projects and fulfilling citizen duties as enshrined in the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
Regional Residents Convention Resolutions
The residents of Chitungwiza and Manyame rural convened a Residents Convention, after intense deliberations agreed and resolved that:
- That the residents of Chitungwiza urban and Manyame rural combine efforts and work together under the name, Chitungwiza and Manyame Rural Residents Association (CAMERA).
- That CAMERA undertakes a needs assessment study to ascertain gaps and opportunities for residents in Chitungwiza urban and Manyame rural, sets up structures in some of the Manyame rural wards and capacitate the existing Ward Residents Committees (WRCs) in Chitungwiza urban and Manyame rural.
- That the CAMERA focuses on programmes at a ward level addressing:
i. Voter education and mobilization – mobilize residents especially youths and women, to register to vote and vote in the 2018 elections.
ii. Social Accountability and Social Service Delivery – develop the capacity of community structures and residents to demand social accountability and continuous improvements in social service provision. CAMERA should create platforms for interface with public officials and institutions that have a mandate to provide social services to Chitungwiza urban and Manyame rural residents.
iii. Environment and Climate Change – develop programmes that seek to protect the environment and promote the realization of safe cities and communities in Chitungwiza and Manyame rural.
- That a petition to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing is prepared followed by a peaceful march on the complete failure of local governance in Chitungwiza after the suspension of the town’s entire councilors in April 2017 and the subsequent appointment of a caretaker commission as well as the recent suspension of the Town Clerk.
- That both Chitungwiza Municipality and Manyame Rural District Council expedite the regularization of informal settlements in both Chitungwiza and Manyame rural so as to facilitate the extension of social services to the affected residents and their registration as voters in the ongoing biometric voter registration exercise in preparation of the forthcoming elections.
Source: Chitungwiza Residents Trust