Part of the crowd that attended the meeting
ZAKA - The Community Tolerance Reconciliation and Development Trust (Cotrad) in partnership with the Action Accountability Group (AAG) for Ward 19 have begun accountability programs as part of their community development work in the district.
Speaking at a community accountability meeting in Chipezeze village recently, Cotrad programs manager Zivanai Muzorodzi said the initiative involved capacitating the community to demand accountability from public officials.
“There are many areas that need close monitoring from community members. We feel we can play a role by partnering the community in monitoring how both elected and non-elected officials are doing their duties. We need to help the community see if their leaders are fulfilling election promise and if allocated resources are being used fairly and transparently.
“Many people feel that budgets are not being adhered to and resources are being used on non-priority areas. We are therefore here to help each other understand the importance of social accountability monitoring,” said Muzorodzi.
He said without paying close attention to how public officials administer services, it was difficult if not impossible to measure their performance and give people an insight into how governance issues were being handled.
AAG member Mercy Muziri said as a group, they were already working to encourage the youth to monitor public officials in order to make wiser electoral choices in 2023.
"We have already started mobilising those who didn't vote this year but will be eligible in 2023 and the response is overwhelming," said Muziri.
Members of the community also called upon Cotrad to assist the youth to develop their business ideas so as to further their participation in the economy and decision-making processes.
"Some of us are not that much educated so we would like to appeal to Cotrad to help us in any way possible so that we can embark on projects that can sustain us," said one participant.
Cotrad is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) concerned with many issues including fostering the youth's participation in public issues as well as building cohesion and tolerance in communities through lobbying, advocacy and capacity building.