HomeLocal News‘Forge strategic alliance for development’ Masunda

‘Forge strategic alliance for development’ Masunda

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Harare mayor and co-president of the United Cities and Local Government, Muchadeyi Masunda, yesterday urged African mayors to take advantage of their twinning arrangements with developed countries’ cities “to spruce up their own backyard”.

Masunda made the remarks during the official opening of a two-day regional workshop in Harare.

“We need to take advantage of twinning arrangements with various cities. They are not there for fun. We (Harare) benefited hugely from our twinning arrangement with the City of Munich in Germany who gave us ₧600 000 for medicines and accessories that kept our hospitals going for the better part of 18 months,” he said.

“You need to harness resources of people going out of the country for greener pastures and we also need (in our countries) to keep young people out of the streets by providing employment.”

Masunda said he had mobilised a lot of resources through interaction with international organisations including the $500 million he sourced from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The money is being used for the construction of low-income earners’ houses in Dzivarasekwa high-density suburb.

He, however, took a swipe at the Sekesai Makwavarara-led Harare commission which used to run the affairs of Harare City Council and accused it of “criminal negligence”.

European Union Ambassador Aldo Dell’Ariccia told participants at the workshop that local authorities played a critical role in promoting local development.

“Local authorities represent local communities and they provide increased opportunities for community participation and involvement in policy and decision-making. This has also been underlined in the ongoing constitutional reform process,” Dell’Ariccia said.

Dell’Ariccia lamented constraints such as lack of information and weak advocacy skills as stifling growth of local government associations.

He said strategic partnerships between civil society and local authorities that promote capacity building, advocacy work and political dialogue were essential in advancing sustainable development.

The workshop was attended by representatives from Angola, Mozambique, South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mauritius and Zambia, among others.

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