Consortium partners of the Strengthening Citizen Agency and Constituency Dialogue Project conducted a Citizens Assembly coordination meeting in Bulawayo where citizens discussed issues affecting them within their communities.
The meeting was attended by 15 participants, (8 females and 7 males) coming from 9 wards in Bulawayo. Among the participants, were representatives from Youth Invest, Community Podium, Gweru Residents and Ratepayers Association, Public Policy Research Institute of Zimbabwe and Women’s Institute for Leadership Development aged between 18-60 years old.
The aim of the meeting was to coordinate the upcoming Citizens Assembly meetings and identify issues that can be included in policy briefs. The participants highlighted that citizens including young people, women and persons with disabilities should be at the forefront of identifying issues within their communities. Furthermore it was emphasised that the project should be done in a way that is results-oriented so that meetings are not done only to tick boxes.
Bulawayo’s parking system was identified as a matter that needed urgent resolve. Participants highlighted the requirement to pay $1 per hour as too high and called for a revision of the parking system, citing that the process should be inclusive of all citizens’ views. Participants resolved to engage duty bearers and design policy briefs to assist in solving the challenges faced by citizens.
With regards local Participating champions who were trained at the beginning of the project, there was consensus that they should continue to discuss challenges they experience within their different WhatsApp groups and extend these issues to Citizen Assembly meetings.