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Gweru Residents and Rate payers Association (GRRA) recently held a one-day interface policy workshop with local councillors in a move set to strengthen working relationship between council and residents. Sharing his experience at a workshop held at YWCA former Deputy Minister of Local Government and National Housing in the inclusive government Sesel Zvidzai said there is need for a good working relationship between residents’ associations and councillors. “Relationship between councillors and residents’ associations is vital in pushing for quality service delivery to the communities because they play a watchdog role and they are a key stakeholder in the policy formulation,” he said. He said councillors must always consult its stakeholders in order to come up with people’s oriented budget and achieve development in the city. “Consultations meetings are vital in the formulation of effective and efficient policies that address the challenges facing the residents. “These policies should address budget formulations which reflect residents’ challenges,” said former deputy minister in the inclusive government. He called on residents associations and councillors to be inclusive. “Let me say that democracy start at local level therefore inclusivity between city fathers and residents enhances service delivery,” he added. Munyaradzi Nhengo a specialist in strategic management called on councillors to create proactive policy framework. “You need to come up with policies that create enabling environment and key stakeholders must be consulted to define a successful policy. “SMART objectives are vital in the creation of policies that solve problems of water and sanitation, roads and health,” said Nhengo. He added that councillors should put development first. “I know sometimes councillors put politics first before development they must balance the two to enable smooth flow of service delivery. “Councillors are elected by the people for the people hence they must not be elitist. “They must not be passive when council management presents reports in council chambers but must be technocrats in their own right to keep management on their toes,” added Nhengo. He called on the local authority to embrace the monitoring and evaluation concept to improve efficiency “Every policy that you make as councillors must be monitored and evaluated to make sure that policies are effective and inclusive, he said. GRRA Director Cornllia Selipiwe called on the Gweru City Council communications and public relations office to be proactive in educating and informing residents.

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