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Is the Mutoko Community Share Ownership Trust benefiting the community?

Zimbabwe Young Women’s Network for Peacebuilding (ZYWNP) in partnership with MISA Zimbabwe has been working to promote the right of every Zimbabwean to access to information under the Access to information campaign. Through MISA Zimbabwe’s training and support initiatives under this campaign, ZYWNP has been monitoring the transparency and accountability of public and government institutions to share information with the public and has so far, written and sent 2 information requests to the Mutoko Rural District Council and the Ministry of Lands, Land reform and Resettlement Mashonaland East Provincial office in Marondera.

The first information request we made was around the Mutoko Community Share Ownership Trust resource mobilisation and distribution to promote provision and access to public services delivery in education in Mutoko Ward 9, Chimoyo C. This particular information request was prompted by the discovery of an incomplete Early Childhood Development block at Musanhi Primary School, despite the spirited efforts of the community initiative by young women to complete the Early Childhood Development classroom block. Hence the infants were being exposed to the elements. The information request letter was addressed and delivered by ZYWNP to Mutoko Rural District Council Chief Executive Officer Mr P. Sigauke who is also the secretary-accountant for the community share ownership trust. Mr P. Sigauke together with Mr Lunga, the Administrator of the community share ownership trust responded to the information request during an interaction with ZYWNP.

Information concerning the community share ownership trust resource mobilisation and distribution was important to ZYWNP and the community it serves in Mutoko ward 9 Chimoyo C because the revenue generated through the trust must be transparently accounted for and used to resource projects that benefit the communities it serves. Mutoko ward 9 Chimoyo C, like any other community in Mutoko District should benefit from the exploitation of natural resource, that is, the black granite by mining companies, however, ward 9 has not realised the provision of accessible, available, adequate, affordable, adaptable and safe public services in education, health, water and sanitation and infrastructure, which prompted them to construct an Early Childhood classroom block at Musanhi Primary school to accommodate their younger children at the local school. ZYWNP had sought information on the criteria for the selection of projects by the Trust board.

On 2 December 2016 the community was given a detailed expenditure of the $64,000 that had been received by the trust that year and Musanhi wanted to know why the trust had prioritised the projects it had instead of the ECD.

Such consultations, feedback and update on matters affecting the public by the public bodies is what ZYWNP desires to see constantly so that the young women who are part of their network can act and own their constitutionally earned right to access to information. This has helped not only young women but the entire community of ward 9 to make informed decisions on issues affecting them.

MISA Zimbabwe

MISAintern@misazim.org

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