Midlands State University partnered Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA), and Gweru Residents and Ratepayers Association (GRRA) to foster good governance and community engagement on the 26th of September 2023 at the Gweru Main Campus.
In her welcome remarks, the Executive Dean-Faculty of Social Sciences, Professor Chipo Hungwe, expressed her utmost pleasure to host BPRA and GRRA at the momentous Memoranda of Understanding signing occasion.
“We appreciate your role in ensuring good governance of our urban local authorities in that you ensure that local authorities deliver the required services and that the residents also meet their obligations in paying for the services.
“Your role in fostering stakeholder engagement for improved service delivery cannot be overemphasized,” she remarked.
Professor Hungwe further highlighted that collaborations are central in the University’s corporate strategy particularly in areas to do with research, innovation and industrialisation.
The Memoranda of Understanding are to be implemented through the Centre for Public Policy and Devolution headed by Mrs. V. Makanza.
“MSU’s Centre for Public Policy and Devolution in the Faculty of Social Sciences commits itself to working closely with our new partners towards effective service delivery,” said Professor Hungwe.
Executive Director-GRRA, Mr. C. Selipiwe, remarked that the signing of the MoU is a testament to the mutual commitment shared by the institutions in promoting community engagement and proper service delivery.
“We hope that the Memorandum of Understanding that we are about to sign will revive the establishment of Ward Development Committees (WADCOs), the initiation and implementation of a ward planning exercise under a citizen engagement framework,” said Mr. Selipiwe.
BPRA Director-Ms. P. Ngoma, said that she was excited to sign the MoU which will feed into the policy making processes of the Bulawayo City Council.
“This MoU will go a long way in improving the standard of living for our citizens through short courses on areas such as councillor roles, leadership skills, community engagement, local economic development, WADCO training, public policy dialogues; workshops, and seminars on service delivery,” said Ms. Ngoma.
Acting in his role as the company secretary, the University Registrar-Mr. T. Zishiri, signed the Memoranda of Understanding on behalf of the University.
On the sidelines of the event, the Registrar charged the implementing parties to hit the ground running and immediately start walking the talk.
The institutions agreed to fulfil the provisions of the partnership through implementing the prospects of action research and community engagements.