Together in Zimbabwe

In March, the ICLD programme Local Leaders Capacitating Local Politicians in Zimbabwe ended its 2016 programme and started the 2017 programme.
– This while giving new insight into how the International Training Programmes work to improve the leadership of local politicians, says Shannon Lövgren, ICLD, Programme Officer, international Training Programmes.

The programme started by inviting the Chief Executive Officers to join with their local politicians in planning for a stronger community. Together they discussed the need for politicians and civil servants to work together to achieve their goals and how to encourage one another.

– We are not walking step by step with our CEOs. There is need for greater participation from the CEOS so that when I come back as a changed person with the information I have, I will be coming back to a changing environment and that will help me as a change agent, one Councillor said.

As part of the workshops they discussed key issues they face as leaders such as time management, transparency, failure to plan and delegate, procrastination and lack of confidence.

Participant Mr. Spencer Chiwarange said that his strategic issue was lack of planning and resource mobilization:
– This programme helped me cut the “T” from the words “I can’t” and turn it into “I Can.

As a result he improved stakeholder participation, held community engagement meetings, and started infrastructure development projects.

Another participant, Ms. Rangani Nzivimbo, said:
– I used to have problems managing time and was always short tempered. Now I arrive early. I’m no longer frustrated because now I have time to listen. That makes me more confident to speak in front of a group.

Paul Ncube, one of the 2016-participants shared how he, along with the cooperation of his CEO, prioritized Sustainable Development Goal 6 (clean water and sanitation) in his community.
– It is my goal that by the end of my term in 2018, every person in my Council will have access to sanitation facilities and water within 3 kilometers, he said. It is a challenge but we are already making great progress together.

Inspired by what the 2016-group has achieved, Maria Selin, Head of the Swedish Development Cooperation (Sida), encouraged the 2017-group to continue the good work and to initiate development together by building their skills, fighting corruption, and promoting gender equality.

Mr. Shumba, Principle Director in the Ministry of Rural Development stressed the focus on reducing poverty and improving services, not personal advancement:
– We as leaders of the community must ensure that women and men participate equally in community development issues. The notion that woman are second-class citizens must be condemned.

ICLD is working at the local level to ensure that civil servants and politicians strive together towards reaching the global goals.