Savanna Trust has teamed up with Wedza Rural Development Initiative Trust (Werdit) and the Wedza Rural District Council in a local governance program that will see residents taking an active role in governance and development initiatives.
At a recently held stakeholders workshop in Wedza, Savanna Trust outlined the full scope of their community engagement program which is aimed at getting Wedza residents fully engaging with their council in local governance issues and development initiatives. The project will see Savanna and Werdit using community theatre to raise awareness and foster dialogue among residents on the important role they play in policy making, accountability and development programs.
The program will see the development of a play that highlights the challenges residents are facing, capture the Council’s 2019 priority areas from the budget and how citizens can play a part in ensuring accountability and transparency in resource allocation and use. The play will be staged in all the 15 wards of Wedza and dialogue will ensue after every presentation. In each of the 15 wards, a local Councillor, Council representatives and representatives from the District Administrator’s Office will be in attendance. The citizens will thus have an opportunity of having a deeper understanding of Council priorities and its work in 2019. Savanna Trust would like to pay homage to the Wedza RDC and the DA for agreeing to be part of this project which will help in transforming relations between council and residents, foster accountability, transparency and citizen participation in local governance and development processes.
The project will also capacitate the councillors with knowledge on social accountability, emphasising on their role in service deliver so that they are responsive to the needs of Wedza residents. Local community members will be trained in advocacy, monitoring and tracking progress of the RDC priority projects and other service delivery issues.
The project, as enunciated at the stakeholders’ workshop will see an improvement in dialogue on governance and development among all the stakeholders in Wedza. One positive outcome of the inaugural stakeholders’ workshop held on the 14th of November 2018 was the clearing of duplication of roles and suspicions between various community based organisations (CBOs) and council. The various stakeholders agreed that working as a collective will bring development to the district. Mr Kahonde of Wedza Residents Association was a relieved man after the workshop as he was enlightened on the difference in approach and implementation between local CBOs and other civil society organisations.
As for the council the program offers a direct avenue to communicate its programs to the residents of the 15 wards. It also helps them gather information on the needs of the community for future planning.