The follow up workshop on “Capacitating Local Leaders in Zimbabwe” has kicked off in Gweru amid optimism that there would be a marked improvement in the performance of duties by the Local Authorities officials as they will acquire new skills at the workshop.
The three-day workshop is being hosted by the Midlands State University`s Local Governance Studies Department and funded by the Swedish International Centre for Local Democracy (ICLD). It was organized through a partnership between the Midlands State University, the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing as well as Gender Links with the objective of improving the capacity of Local Authorities officials to provide transparent, effective services to their constituencies and also promote the involvement of women in politics.
Among some of the issues being discussed at the conference are Governance and Devolution, Conflict Management, Communication as well as Resource Mobilization and Networking. Officially opening the workshop at a local hotel in Gweru, the Deputy Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Honourable Jennifer Mhlanga said government is excited that the Midlands State University is in the process of establishing a centre for devolved governance in support of the government`s devolution agenda.
“It is our expectation that this institute will go a long way towards enhancing policy research and capacity development not only in terms of devolution but across the whole spectrum of development planning in the country,” she said.
Midlands State University Pro Vice Chancellor for Administration and Business Development Professor Kadmiel Wekwete said the University`s role is to capacitate Local Authorities officials through education, adding that this requires partnerships with other organizations so that all the necessary resources can be easily mobilised.
“We also want, through education 5.0, to have students who not only come to university to get a degree but those who will come to school, get their qualifications, innovate, create employment and influence the world,” he said.
The Mayor of Gweru, His Worship Councillor Josiah Makombe, representatives of various rural and urban local authorities and the Midlands State University`s Department of Local Governance Studies attended the official opening ceremony.