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» » » Churches engage Govt on civic participation in devolution

Simon Parwaringira

 Clayton Shereni

MASVINGO - Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denomination (ZHCOD) last week pledged their support of the devolution programme which is being implemented by the government across the country.

Speaking during a provincial leader’s symposium held a local hotel, ZHCOD provincial chairperson Simon Parwaringira said the organization was working tirelessly as a unifying structure to ensure development in the country.

“ZHCOD acts as a unifying structure bringing together the church around common themes and objectives. As an organization, it is within our mandate to ensure that we compliment government efforts in development through evangelization.

“We are happy with previous engagements which we have had with government in disaster management, education, health and relief programmes,” said Parwaringira.

The organization is a brainchild of four apex church representative bodies; Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP), Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC), Union For Development of Apostolic and Zionist Churches in Zimbabwe Africa (UDACIZA) and the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ).

Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Ezra Chadzamira, who was the guest of honour, applauded the church for playing a pivotal role

“Our government respects churches and the critical role they play in the communities. The devolution agenda is bringing positive development to the grassroots level and in Masvingo, we have completed 77 projects including clinics, schools, refuse compactors and graders by local authorities.

Masvingo province was allocated $1.8 billion under the 2021 devolution program and various projects across the province’s seven districts are expected to begin.

In Masvingo province, ZHCOD operates in four districts namely Bikita, Gutu, Masvingo and Chivi where; working in conjunction with local leaders to promote the role of churches in creating social cohesion and civic participation within devolution processes.

The meeting was targeting to sensitize local leadership about the ZHCOD project, strengthen the relationship of the government, church and community leaders to ensure the ownership and oversight of the project at local level. 

ZHCOD also operates in Manicaland and Midlands provinces where it works with government departments in implementing devolution, decentralization and developmental projects.

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