Finance is the backbone of all development activities that take place from villages to District level or even at National level. Goromonzi Rural District Council (GRDC in Zimbabwe) as one of the lower tiers of central government has the responsibility of collecting revenue for the provision of social services and infrastructure to upgrade the standard of living of communities. GRDC Receive grants from central government such as Administration grants, Health grants, Education grants, Road Fund, rural development funds but the grants are only partially being used but if there is enough consultation and effective management, the grants or money can contribute a great deal to development.
Most service centres in Goromonzi District are out of touch with modern day settings. They are not attractive enough to attract investment such that even the government is pushing for decentralization of services where local people should have all these services within the District so that local people will not travel to Harare. Goromonzi District is still 80% a dormitory town. In most cases, grassroots communities are not consulted in the planning and management of grants but it’s just lip service though government is partly responsible for late disbursement of required funds. For example, ZINARA road rehabilitation funds are released late. by which time the value of the money has been eroded against the United States Dollar for which services and goods are pegged.
Ward 12 in Goromonzi is amongst the fastest growing wards because of peri- urban influx. According to ZIMSTAT, the population is around 24000 so the services are not tallying with the everyday growing population. The issues of speed hump and, street lighting were raised in one of the ward meetings but there is need for adequate budgeting. If communities cooperate in mobilizing resources more funds can be raised but the issue of transparency and accountability is a problem. During the peak of the rainy season, $1US per household was raised for youth to patch up the Juru service center road. The initiative was positive and catalysed by village heads but there were loop holes and gaps in the systems in terms of how much money was collected hence discouraging similar future efforts. The local community can however, play a pivotal role in development whilst avoiding public sector corruption through citizen led initiatives. Recently Honorable Ozias Bvute, Member of Parliament for Goromonzi North Constituency resurfaced now after five good years. He serviced the Juru service center road to gain political milage as we are heading towards harmonized elections. This all shows that citizens are alone and apart from demanding transparency and accountability from public office, we should also implement our own citizen driven efforts for ourselves and our children!