23 October 2019, Seke, Chitungwiza– COMMITTEE restructuring is a key ingredient to rebuilding and strengthening community mobilization in the work of the Harare Residents’ Trust (HRT). Addressing 30 residents during a community focus group discussion here, Constance Shumba, the Women and Livelihoods Officer of the organisation challenged the HRT leadership to rally the people to stand up and fight for transparent and accountable social service delivery.

The residents said they have experienced declining service delivery, with huge potholes on their roads, uncollected garbage, acute water shortages at once a week supplies, construction of houses on top of sewer pipes and blocked streets because of land barons. Residents are buying a 20-litre bucket of water at two dollars each from those residents with some household shall wells. The Chitungwiza Municipality has dismally failed to attend to their challenges, and now it is up to the residents to find solutions and the best way forward.

When a committee is restructured through democratic processes, it also means that the decision making, advocacy and lobby strategies will now be more enhanced at community level, she said. It is through the committees that the HRT lobbies and advocates for effective and efficient service delivery and the improvement of the living standards in communities in Harare Metropolitan Province.All structures of HRT must have a committee with nine members. For one to be elected into the committee within the HRT, that person has to be an HRT member, with a current membership card. Given that the work of community based organisations are driven by voluntarism and passion to claim one’s rights, residents should decide whether or not they still want to be involved and when they are worn out or tired, they must not hesitate to relinquish their positions to allow the communities to progress.

The HRT considers new and old members as having same rights and obligations of advancing the cause of the citizens. The newly elected leadership received basic training on their roles and responsibilities.

Forthcoming community engagements shall cover issues of inheritance and basic rights of the citizens within the framework of service provision.  New structures will continue being established in the communities in order to create as many platforms as possible for residents to engage and find common ground on their community challenges.

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