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Crisis Report - Issue 230
in Zimbabwe Coalition
October 18, 2013
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plan service delivery charter for Harare
are mooting the idea of a service delivery charter for the city
of Harare to map the mutual responsibilities of council authorities
and city dwellers in improving the formerly glamorous and now lackluster
The latest discussions
were held on October 16 when the Combined
Harare Residents Association (CHRA) organized a National Residents’
Conference at the Jameson Hotel where the residents’ representatives,
Civil Society, and elected officials of the city council discussed
the possibility and importance of coming up with such a Charter.
of Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CIZC) clarified what a social service
delivery charter meant.
a document produced through mutual understanding and through agreements,”
Dube said. “This could be a written and agreed pact which
sets out the partners’ roles and responsibilities in improving
performance and fast track the delivery of social services.
is a means of improving the livelihoods of people.”
Dube said the
Charter could improve the participation of citizens in matters of
governance as envisaged in the new Constitution. The idea of service
delivery charters has proved successful in neighbouring South Africa’s
municipalities, primarily “because citizens know how services
are to be delivered,” he said.
have to engage in peaceful demonstrations provided for in the new
Constitution of Zimbabwe to pressurize authorities to adhere to
better social service delivery standards, Dube said, adding that
for the idea of social service delivery charters to gain national
appeal they must be crafted in other cities.
also heard that there are a lot of examples of service delivery
charters on the continent, and mentioned examples included municipalities
in Ghana and Kenya.
a facilitator at the meeting, said stipulations in a service delivery
charter would include the agreeable time between application by
residents for, and delivery of services. He cited such services
as water and electricity connections, approval of housing plans,
plugging of water and sewerage leakages, and removal of dead dogs
and other pets from public places such as in roads. One resident
who spoke at the meeting said there were many challenges that the
council, perhaps through a service delivery charter, needed to see
through the viewpoint of residents, including sensitivity in council
by laws on how residents earn their bread and butter.
agrees that unemployment is a major problem in the city,”
the resident argued, “and informal business is one way of
proper design for some more market stalls, not to put these behind
are the mindsets that the local authorities need to change.”
International - Zimbabwe (TIZ) said the idea of a service delivery
charter, or “integrity pact” was relevant in the public
fight for transparency, against corruption, but urged those pushing
for the idea to tackle lack of political will among local government
officials. “The political will is one of the most important
things that are needed for a service charter to be successful,”
Mphalo said. “Do the leaders we have buy into the process?”
the director of Urban Council Association of Zimbabwe (UCAZ) said
the issue of service delivery standards was not new in Zimbabwe.
Duri said in the past, central government through the Ministry of
Local Government introduced a practice where council budgets would
be submitted with a certificate of no objection, or the objections
gathered from residents to foster public participation. This showed
some political will, he added.
Duri noted that
there was need for coordinated efforts among those various stakeholders
in favour of the Charter.
I have seen is that there is a lot of individual work among organisations,”
Duri argued. “And this fragments the implementation process,
and that fragmentation results in slow progress.
as an organized mass we are better placed to achieve greater benefits
for the communities.”
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