Citizen Engagement for Urban Resilience in Zimbabwe: Insights and Foresights from a Citizen Engagement in Community Development and Council Budgeting Conference
Keywords:citizen engagement, budgeting process, community development, urban resilience, participatory budgeting
The article reports and discusses critical insights and foresight that emerged from a workshop on the role of citizen engagement in community development and council budgeting held on the 21st and 23rd of December 2020 in Harare. The article unpacks the reasons behind fake promises by Councillors and Members of Parliament (MPs) to gain public vote, the inability of those in power to represent the public interest and various reasons behind the lack of zeal by the community members to participate in community meetings. The workshop revealed that community members lack unity, in many instances, fail to contribute towards the budgetary process by councils. The workshop recommended the need for community members to come together regardless of party interests and participate in council budgeting for societal interest to be fairly represented. The article emphasises the active role of Councillors and MPs in luring citizens to participate in council budgeting and community development. The workshop concluded that for community development to thrive, citizens ought to be involved in community affairs. This article journeys into the lives of ordinary citizens and the challenges they face regarding participation in community-based development programmes and council budgeting.