Last week Zimbabwe Christian Alliance hubs converged at the border town of Beitbridge to have an exchange visit programme. The exchange visit was a platform for the hubs to share their experiences as well as learn from each other.
A hub is an affiliation of pastors representing and working with Zimbabwe Christian Alliance in different communities. The hub structures are instrumental in the mobilization of communities for social transformation and initiatives that are spear headed by Zimbabwe Christian Alliance
The major highlight of the exchange visit was the site visits to the areas that the ZCA hub has advocated for and the authorities reacted positively. Some of the things that the hub had advocated for was proper sewer drainage systems which led to the construction of a foot bridge and trenches at Dulibadzimu. They also advocated for the construction of a roundabout in Dulibadzimu to control traffic coming from the central business district (CBD) As there were many accidents happening in that area.
Present at the meeting was the Beitbridge Deputy Mayor, Munyaradzi Chitsunge, who commended the work being done by the hub in Beitbridge. He said the hub had developed a good working relationship with the local authorities which has yielded good results.
“Every time we have meetings as the council we make sure that we involve them as we consider them as stakeholders. Whatever input they bring is of paramount importance to us because it helps us in service delivery,” he said.
His worship also pointed out the importance of feedback that they get from the hub through the council meetings. He said their work is improved if there is continuous engagement in the community.
“I remember we had a meeting when they were giving us feedback on certain issues that we had talked about during election. They were following up on the progress made and also identifying some challenges that the community is going through such as the sewer.
Also in discussion was their expectations us as the council. At the end of the day we are able to deliver what is expected by our residents through the input that we get from the feedback meetings that we conduct with them,” he said.
Reverend Kurauone Mutimwii from Masvingo said the exchange visit was an eye opener for them. He said they will implement some of the strategies that they picked as other hubs were sharing how they work in their communities.
“We thought we were doing a lot in our hub but after listening to other hubs we are quite challenged to do more. I really liked how the Beitbridge hub is more like an advisory council of the local authorities when it comes to community issues. We have been challenged,” he said.
Most of the participants highlighted that another for major highlight of the exchange visit was the gallery walks where each hub was given a corner to present their work. The gallery walk challenged the hub representatives to be creative and present their impact stories in an innovative way.
“The gallery walks were informative, fun and engaging. We liked the idea of presenting our impact stories in drama format and the use of different visuals,” said Pastor Tavengwa Makore.
Speaking on the sidelines, ZCA board member, Dr Ray Motsi, ZCA board member said one of the main areas that ZCA focused on was advocacy.
“Part of our work is to bring awareness, educate and train hubs within Zimbabwe. We capacitate them in terms of how they can engage the powers that be, the authorities and communities in order to bring about change and development that benefits the whole of the community,” said Dr Motsi.
He commended on the work being done by the different hubs particularly the Beitbridge hub. A lot of work is being done by the hubs that is helping several communities address issues that they have failed to talk about in the past.
“The exchange visit has been a good experience for the hubs to share the work they have been doing in their respective areas. The sharing of information and experiences will help other hubs pluck a leaf from hubs that are performing well. Beitbridge is one good example that has tangible results for one to see.
The hub came together and lobbied the local authorities, the council and they were able to push for the construction of a roundabout and proper sewer drainage systems. The roundabout is full proof that it actually works if people take responsibility of their communities and do something about their situation,” he said.
The meeting was attended to by hub representatives from the ZCA hubs in 8 provinces of the country.
Source: Zimbabwe Christian Alliance (ZCA)