Story of Goromonzi District and how they have adopted emerging issues from CBP into their Strategic Plan.

October 07, 2021 Renewable Energy

Goromonzi District is located in the eastern part of Zimbabwe in Mashonaland East Province. It covers an area of approximately 9,100 square kilometres with a population of 224,987(2012 census). The communities in Goromonzi District have a good economic resource base in the form of livestock, fresh farm produce and their proximity to the capital city to afford them to fund most of their livelihood priorities. 

The district is amongst the eight (8) under the Social Accountability Project being implemented by the CFHD and its partners. CFHD and Goromonzi Rural District Council have a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two parties which have enabled an engagement process in capacity development, learning and sharing of experiences on local governance issues from 2020 t0 2024. [p1] 

The project has five (5 ) key result areas that it is focusing on and these are: 

  • Result 1: Inclusive and gender-sensitive service delivery needs and priorities effectively integrated with local government planning and budgeting processes. 
  • Result 2: Increased operational space, capacity and voice of CSOs and CBOs in advocating and monitoring the delivery of quality services for all citizens (including vulnerable, disabled people).
  • Result 3: Improved transparency and accountability in performance management of elected and appointed local government officials and providing oversight at all levels of the Local Governance System.
  • Result 4: Increased capacity for civil society driven partnerships in implementation of resilience building initiatives within their local communities.
  • Result 5: Increased documentation, learning and dissemination of lessons, experiences and best practices at the local, provincial and national level.

The Social Accountability project targets community-based organisations, civil society organisations, rural local authorities, councillors, traditional leaders, local government ministries, women, youths and men.   

CFHD facilitated a training workshop for all the councillors in Goromonzi at Silveira House from the 9th to the 11th of September 2020. The training workshop aimed at training the elected councillors on transformational leadership, local government process and procedures community-based planning, gender-sensitive budgeting, collaboration skills with traditional leaders, CBOs, and other stakeholders, social accountability, monitoring and restructuring action plans. Twenty-five councillors from all the wards in the district were trained. The training workshop was also graced by the Provincial Development Coordinator Mr Kutumahufa, District Development Coordinator, Mrs Dube and the Goromonzi Rural District Council Chief Executive Officer Mr Madhovi. 

The councillors training empowered participants on the governance process in Zimbabwe and procedures to champion transformative community-centric development and transparency at local level premised on their elected mandate to coordinate development at ward level. 

Further, the district was trained in the community-based planning process. CFHD works through a model called the light-touch model which seeks to capacitate resident office bearers to champion development activities in the community. The model empowers locals to drive development processes in the district and the team formulates a District Action Team (DAT).  

 Thus, a training of trainers was conducted first where council personnel, members of several government departments in the district, representatives from community-based organisations (CBOs), civic society organisations (CSOs), residents associations and business associations were trained. A twenty-four member DAT then facilitated the training of communities from the 17th to the 20th of November 2020 across all the wards in the district. The communities largely appreciated the training on CBP because it drives away the idea of donor dependency on development and promotes sustainable development in communities. 

Goromonzi Rural District Council developed its 2021-2025 Strategic Plan from the 17th to the 18th of December 2020. The planning process was done using a stakeholder consultative manner and considered the action priorities that were emerging from the wards plans generated during the CBP process. The planning process was timeous in responding to the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) which was launched by the President of Zimbabwe in November 2020. It can be noted that the Goromonzi district Strategic plan adopted community priorities which is important in ensuring community participation which is pivotal for development.

The key result areas focused on by the project were emphasised to the Goromonzi DAT team so that the Social Accountability project may achieve them through working with the team in the district. Some key advantages that have been noted in the engagement with Goromonzi district are that there has been: The improved focus of public service delivery by the council; Emphasis on the needs of vulnerable groups in policy formulation and implementation; Enhanced transparency during the 2021 budget consultations by the councillors in their respective wards; and Facilitation of effective links between citizens and local governments in the context of decentralization in response to the devolution mantra. CFHD will continue supporting Goromonzi district in strengthen local governance systems. Plans are focused on further training on local leadership to understand their roles and responsibilities as stipulated in the Traditional Leaders Act.

 COVID-19 and other economic shocks have not spared district. CFHD managed to stretch a hand to the district by donating 20*20L water buckets with taps, 24*500ml alcohol-based sanitisers, some face shields and fabric face masks, and 100 bars of washing soap to distribute to the vulnerable members of the communities in the district.  CFHD thrives to also support the district in resilience-building to help the district adjust to pandemics and shocks that can affect them directly or indirectly. 

Gladys Mumhure works for the Civic Forum on Human Development as a Human Development Officer. She is a Renewable Energy Engineer by profession and has focused her career on human development by providing solutions that are relevant to rural communities. She is passionate about environmental management and hopes for a future where communities are empowered to be drivers of their development through the use of locally available materials and resources. 

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