Midlands State University Centre for Public Policy and Devolution in partnership with the Office of the President and Cabinet in the Midlands Province opened a space for dialogue between the Midlands community and service providers in a Service Delivery forum on the 29th of March 2023 at MSU Gweru Main Campus.
Running under the theme, “Water, Sewerage, Roads and Refuse Collection Services,” the dialogue was attended by local authorities and residents’ associations.
In her introductions, Executive Dean-Faculty of Social Sciences, Professor Chipo Hungwe acknowledged the presence of the stakeholders and thanked the Vice Chancellor, the University Management for creating a conducive environment for community-relevant activities to flourish at the University.
“We are extremely delighted to once again bring together the members of the Midlands State University community and our highly valued stakeholders to yet another event headed by the Centre for Public Policy and Devolution.
“Today we want to understand each other as service providers and consumers of services; today we want to come up with broad solutions to address our service delivery challenges in Midlands Province,” said Professor Hungwe.
During the discussions, Centre for Public Policy and Devolution- Coordinator, Mrs. Virginia Makanza highlighted that the service delivery dialogue will lead to research that will guide policy and institutional reforms as well as capacity development for all levels of government, the private sector and civil society.
In his address, MSU Vice Chancellor Professor Victor Ngonidzashe Muzvidziwa noted that the University remains guided by national policies and actively participates in the development of the nation through synergies with key stakeholders.
“Our relationship with the Midlands Province ‘concerns cooperation in socio-economic development’.
“It is true that there can be no development if services are not being provided to support the development initiatives,” said Professor Muzvidziwa.
In his remarks, Permanent Secretary for Provincial Affairs and Devolution in the Midlands Province, Mr. Abiot Maronge who was representing Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution in the Midlands Province, Honourable Larry Mavima noted that organisations are invited to collaborate with local authorities to deliver key services such as the repair of roads and provision of clean and safe water.
Local authorities and other service providers also delivered presentations which ignited engagement from the participants.
Tendai Moyo, a Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Geography, Environmental Sustainability and Resilience Building student suggested that since water provision in the province is being hindered by the unavailability of electricity to pump the water; the councils should consider using alternative power sources.
“The councils across the province should consider using solar power as an alternative power source to rectify the acute water shortages that the Midlands Province is facing which may lead to disease outbreaks,” said Moyo.
A representative from Zimbabwe National Road Administration articulated that if the local authorities face challenges in road repairs, they should engage other organisations to repair the roads through partnerships.
In her closing remarks, Department of Governance and Public Management-Lecturer, Ms. A. Mcilo, thanked the participants for engaging in interactions with service providers to mutually shape solutions to the prevailing problems.
The Service Delivery Dialogue was attended by service providers including; Zimbabwe National Water Authority, Zimbabwe National Road Administration, Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority, District Development Fund, Environmental Management Agency, and National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations.