Duty bearers from Makoni West have committed to raise awareness on social accountability in a move aimed at improving good governance and accountability. This came out during training for 50 duty bearers conducted by Heal Zimbabwe from 26-30 September 2019. Among the participants were Councillors, Village heads, School Development Committee members.
The objectives of the training were to equip diverse duty bearers on the concepts of social accountability and devise locally binding action plans with which leaders from the two wards can utilize to foster accountability and good governance practices. During the trainings, it emerged that some duty bearers were not aware that they play a pivotal role in promoting the rights of the people they lead. For instance, some traditional leaders who attended the training felt that when they distribute aid, they will be doing favor or expressing empathy to the poor and disadvantaged citizens. However, upon discussing the link between the bill of rights and the various roles that they play, participants agreed that rights holders expect their leaders to account to a specific set of their rights such as the right to food, identity, safe water, personal security among others.
As part of action plans to address some of these challenges, duty bearers unanimously agreed on the need to conduct robust awareness raising activities on social accountability in their communities. The awareness campaigns will seek to share key knowledge with rights holders on how they can participate in shaping accountable leadership and inculcating a culture of transparency and accountability within their communities. Duty bearers also agreed that during the awareness raising platforms, they were going to invite officials from Command Agriculture to demystify the issue of how beneficiaries are identified under that facility.
The social accountability trainings 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.
Source: Heal Zimbabwe