Turn for citizens to get involved

Ngwindi Ngwindingwindi

Few weeks ago, I wrote about politics of sabotage and greed where politicians seek to pull each other down and use political office to fill their purses at the expense of service delivery.

Today I am taking this opportunity to share some piece of advice with fellow Zimbabweans, which might work in our favour rebuilding our societies which have been abandoned by those whom we entrust with the mandate to oversee the wellbeing of our communities.

We have waited for more than acceptable time to have our grievances addressed, but the situation continues to get worse with nobody caring to listen to the loud cries of citizens across the country.

On this one, I can boldly shout that Zimbabwe has failed to handle multi-party democracy, which has been rendered harmful to livelihoods contrary to the purpose it is supposed to serve. Politicians and city authorities have short-changed citizens in political tussles which we have experienced between major antagonists where each side is working towards the collapse of the other, thereby giving no attention to duty.

Maybe it is the calibre and background of our political parties, or is it the character of the leaders, I may not know, but I strongly believe that we are not yet capable of handling multi-parti-ism, as evidenced by the extent of damage caused by political tug of wars. Focus has been more on defending the status quo on one side while the other fights to dislodge the incumbent instead of both parties finding common areas of national interest.

My message in this chapter is about calling citizens to duty. The time  has thus arrived when every citizen in their areas should be found to be contributing towards rebuilding their respective societies in their small ways. It is now time to take responsibility and be in charge of our affairs instead of surrendering everything in the hands of antagonistic and self serving politicians. We understand the dynamics of our communities, and as such, we are surely capable of changing our plight. My focus this week is the old suburb of Glen Norah which has attracted my attention.

Community Eye has conducted a mini survey in the suburb of Glen Norah in Harare. The state of public infrastructure in the area is such an eye sore; a dilapidated library which serves the whole community has since been surrounded by bottle stores and bars, with bacchanals parking vehicles by the gate and play full blast music. The library premises have also become a sex hub since the security wall is broken and provides easy access. The building itself is in bad shape with shattered windowpanes all round. In all this, we have city authorities, councillors and legislators who have paid no attention to this important facility.

There are many such scenarios in the suburb which include a recreational park which has been dug up by urban farmers and occupied by various religious sects. The original landscape of the park has since been deformed by illegal cultivation which has occupied a large chunk of the estate. The authorities have been watching all this happening as they engaged in unnecessary fights, while some were busy looting open grounds for allocation of residential and commercial stands and pocketing the proceeds. If such incompetence can be allowed to go on unabated, I lay blame on residents who fail to get together and repossess charge of their facilities. This must be time to shun politicians who only seek votes for the sole purpose of enriching themselves. I would radically suggest voter apathy in such cases because we are not getting dividends from our votes.

The park which I mentioned above can surely be developed into something of great economic and social benefit to the community, rather than what it is being used for currently. The authorities do not seem to be innovative enough to turn fortunes for the community, or they are deliberately abandoning it for some illicit future dealings which benefit pockets of few individuals. The park is a very suitable place to where the community library can be moved and developed into a modern ICT centre. The facility has so much space to accommodate a multidimensional exhibition centre for the benefit of our youths and the community at large.

The authorities do not seem to have such vision. It appears they see more value in parcelling out stands to church groups which are sprouting withing the estate. Our youth are roaming streets indulging in substance abuse, alcohol binges and robberies which could be contained by simply creating extra curricula activities for them.

Residents must stop the rot as I foresee the whole facility being turned into residential stands if no action is taken. I am therefore urging citizens across Zimbabwe to participate meaningfully in the rebuilding processes of their societies instead of entrusting their whole welfare in the hands of a system which has failed to deliver.

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