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Engaging citizens in co-producing service delivery outcomes

Engaging citizens in co-producing service delivery outcomes

Over the years, residents’ associations at all levels have declared their interest in finding better ways to respond to and serve citizens and communities through better-designed programs and consultative processes.

However, Gweru Residents and Ratepayers Association (GRRA)’s idea of ‘putting residents first’ has created a public forum were residents are a natural extension of local governance processes.

Our engagement meetings involving elected leaders and service delivery officials lessen the distrust of citizens thereby building constructive support through better policy and higher quality services.

GRRA’s recently organised service delivery meeting at YWCA Hall with Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission Distribution Company’s (ZETDC) with residents of Mkoba on matters involving new electricity tariffs, vandalism and load shedding saw widespread response.

ZETDC Southern Region Marketing Officer, Edward Nyoni said residents should desist from vandalising company property inorder for residents to access quality electricity supply.

“Our mandate as ZETDC is to make customers happy by supplying residents with electricity hence consumers are also encouraged to protect ZETDC property in order to get maximum efficiency,” said Mr Nyoni.

“There is a high number of people stealing transformers oil as well as copper wires, so residents should be
watchdogs and be responsible by reporting such crimes because this in the long run affects residents, through load shedding,” added Mr Nyoni.

He added that, residents must be cautious in the rainy season since, casualty rate is high.

“We are urging residents to be extremely cautious this coming rainy season by avoiding naked circuits as
these may cause deaths or trigger fires,” said Mr Nyoni.

Ropafadzo Hove of Ward 10 stated that, ZETDC needs to communicate with residents more often, particularly on load shedding schedules inorder to prepare household chores in advance.

“ZETDC needs to publish or circulate load shedding schedules on social media or the press for use to prepare our household chores. We understand the socio-economic crisis in our coun try and if there is no communication we suffer even worse,” she said.

Yet, other issues raised at the service delivery meeting included payment plans, access to water supply and refuse collection. 

Shamiso Masanha of Ward 9 said council needs to seriously reconnect water supply to residents that service their water bills. 

She added that, people need to take part in GRRA’s initiative of ‘demonstration by paying’ as protest to the city fathers to improve service delivery.

“I paid 880 RTGs but I am not getting any water. I have to pay water next door so that I get water. A t times even though we pay for water it discourages us to pay because you won’t get it.

Even if I go to our councillor, they blame it on ZETDC. As residents lets stand up together especially through GRRA‘s idea of demonstration by paying inorder to improve service delivery and show them our rights,” she said.

“Most importantly we need to stay to t together restore the pride of Gweru”. 

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