GWERU: The #HOWFAR# campaign which was recently launched in Harare by the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) has finally reached the City of Progress.
The campaign is running on various social media platforms and also through the use of billboards that have been erected in every city across the country, to raise public awareness on the lack of accountability and transparency by the Zimbabwean government.
In Gweru, the organisation erected a billboard at TM rank. The message on the billboard seeks to inform residents of the country’s debt as it reads “#HowFar# How much does Zimbabwe owe? ZWL $20.9 Billion + USD$ 10.5 Billion, You deserve to know.”
Tafadzwa Munetsi, a Gweru resident applauded the initiative by ZIMCODD and she hopes that the same is done for local authorities.
“This is a good move, I think they should do more of these campaigns whenever they want to get the attention of the government. This campaign should also apply to our local authorities so that they give us some answers,” said Munetsi.
Primrose Mlizani from Young Women’s Forum alluded that the campaign is the best move to demand answers, transparency and accountability from the authorities.
“This is the best initiative so far in terms of calling the government to account,” said Mlizani.
This campaign is central to ZIMCODD’s work under the Strengthening Transparency and Accountability in Public Finance Management (STAP) project which seeks to increase citizen’s oversight in accountability through information dissemination and increased platforms for engagement with solution holders.
The intensive campaign has already attracted attention from the government who has since also started a counter social media campaign titled #SoFar #TrustED, posting pictures of the ongoing projects under Mnangagwa’s administration.
Meanwhile, ZIMCODD Director Janet Zhou noted that “How Far” is not asking about distance but tracking the government’s progress on the promises made and is also centred on building a culture of transparency.
“The campaign aims to promote the dissemination of information through its catchy phrase that “you deserve to know, and I deserve to know,” said Zhou.
“ Our clarion call for transparency and accountability is rooted in our deep desire to see improved use of public resources for inclusive growth that does not leave anyone behind,” she further reiterated.
This campaign comes against the backdrop of the recently released Auditor Generals reports that rooted out misuse of funds in various government departments.