Susan Nyamangodo Post Correspondent
MUTARE City Council is developing a gender responsive multi-sectoral policy to ensure women have equal access to opportunities within the municipality.
Mutare Mayor Clr Blessing Tandi made the remarks while addressing the Women Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCOZ) Mutare chapter feedback meeting on service delivery challenges faced by residents.
Clr Tandi said they will enact the policy to ensure women have equal access to opportunities at the local authority.
“When allocating stands we have always made sure we promote women by giving them priority. Even without this policy, we have always been prioritising women in everything we do. We have always been gender responsive, be it in our budget planning as a council. Now we are coming up with a policy position to ensure that this becomes binding in every aspect of council operations,” said Clr Tandi.
Clr Tandi said challenges being faced by the council relate to the ring-fencing of council accounts and dwindling revenue base due to economic challenges bedeviling the country.
He said as a result of financial challenges, council had to suspend some intended developments such as the establishment of a new fire station in Dangamvura.
“Most of council income is ring-fenced, meaning that the water account only works on water-related issues and fire levy addresses fire issues. They cannot be diverted to any other expenditure. In our budget we had a new fire station for Dangamvura, but with the current economic situation, we may not be able to establish it,” he said.
WCOZ Mutare chapter chairperson Mrs Selina Mariwangepo said they will continue creating platforms where women interact with elected officials and council officials to unpack developmental issues affecting them.
“The objective is to create an interactive platform for residents and the local authority officials so that they can identify gaps and challenges in the community and ensure such issues are addressed.
“This affords women an opportunity to get concrete answers direct from duty bearers on issues they want addressed. This ensures accountability and transparency in the governance of resources,” said Mrs Marewangepo.