GWERU: The church has engaged government leaders in coming up with a framework to ensure that communities fully participate in championing different projects in their areas in line with the devolution agenda.
It emerged during the stakeholders’ meeting on devolution that most people are not participating in policy formulating meetings aimed at coming up with projects that are expected to alleviate their challenges leaving the task in the hands of few individuals.
In a bid to address the anomaly, the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations and some development partners have since engaged the government to take the issues of devolution to their constituencies as a way to encourage community participation in such matters of national interests.
“We have some members of society who are quick to criticise government programs and yet they don’t take time to participate where it’s necessary. We want your constituency’s input on matters of devolution since they are meant to address your challenges.
“The projects have to come from the people. We are saying you are a very important institution in the eyes of the government and as such you need to play your part in making this journey a success,” said Acting Gweru District Development Officer, Tarisai Mudadigwa.
“We must not love our political parties more than our country. That is the dilemma we have as a country towards implementing developmental projects,” encouraged Gweru Urban legislator, Brian Dube.
Some church leaders who attended the multi-sectoral engagement forum say, they are eager to relay the critical aspects of devolution that they shared with senior government officials.
“Such engagements are critical as they help simplify some issues that we are often asked by our congregants. We have just been energised to take the gospel of devolution to the people. Am glad that we managed to cover almost all the grey areas,” one leader said.
“Ignorance is not good at all as it hampers development. We now have to go back and sit down with our constituency and help in making people participate in such crucial government programs. Such openness on the part of government helps in solving some areas we might not have been privy to,” added another leader.
Government has this year set aside ZWD42.5 million for devolution projects with several projects like clinics and schools set to be constructed as the second republic continues to uplift the livelihoods of marginalised communities.