Residents of Chiredzi ward 30 have urged elected officials to end political party tension and collectively focus on serving the community in a transparent and nonpartisan way when elected into office. Speaking during a community engagement meeting facilitated by the Community Tolerance Reconciliation and Development (COTRAD), the residents expressed concerns over the ongoing clashes between ward 30 Councilor Mr. Simbanegavi and the Chiredzi West legislature Mr. Farai Musikavanhu.
The residents say Mr. Musikavanhu deliberately circumvents the elected opposition councilor in Constituency Development Committee (CDC) meetings, programs and other government development programmes in the ward. The residents revealed that currently the two officials are clashing over the construction of Muleme Secondary School blocks. Muleme School is the only government secondary school in Hippo Valley Estate and has only two finished learning blocks, therefore some pupils are learning outdoors and in unfinished blocks. The legislature is accused of trying to stop the opposition councilor from supporting the school with building material purchased by the Ward Development Committee (WADCO) through the Chiredzi Council disbursed plough back funds. It is reported that the legislature promises to provide the necessary construction assistance to the school himself through the ruling party and government support.
However, the residents urged the public officials to work together in improving and promoting development in the ward and the constituency at large. “We believe in working together as a community and or between public officials in order to achieve development and sustainable peace in our society. The public officials should be exemplary in championing peace and community development. Political tensions and clashes widens polarization and affect social service delivery. When public officials are elected into office they should serve communities and everyone equally and fairly despite political considerations”, said one resident.
The residents added that they accept any form of assistance from whoever wishes to assist towards the construction of the school and other projects. However, the residents urged public officials to always inform people whether the assistance they provide is from their donations or from the government, parliament and or council. This helps the community members in monitoring and tracking transparency and accountability in the use of public funds.
The residents implored public officials and other stakeholders to facilitate meetings that bring together the clashing elected officials.
Source: Community Tolerance Reconciliation and Development (COTRAD)