Yesterday, Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD) delivered a lecture to at least 30 women leaders from churches in Bulawayo, focusing on the roles and responsibilities of councilors. The lecture was delivered at the Theological College of Zimbabwe (TCZ). To answer questions on the role of a councilor, we invited Bulawayo Ward 22 Councilor Rodney Jele. He explained the role of local authorities in service delivery and his role as a public servant. Jele said councilors’ role involves guaranteeing improved service delivery particularly with regard to access to clean, safe and potable water, healthcare services and sewer reticulation. In line with this role, he also said councilors, by virtue of being inhabitants of a specific community, are expected to attend community gatherings such as burial societies, funerals, and other meetings initiated by the community. Students questioned the haphazard nature of feedback meetings which should be conducted by the councilor. They argued that failure to hold regular meetings resulted in ignorance on community development let alone the councilor himself. Jele lashed out at the decriminalization of councilors’ reluctance to hold feedback meetings. He suggested that it should be made mandatory, within the legal framework, for councilors to call monthly or bi-monthly feedback meetings to update the community on development within the community. He said the Local Authority holds monthly full council meetings and therefore councilors should find a way of sharing this information with residents.
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