By William Milasi
Kwekwe Mayor Angeline Kasipo has said lack of transparency is greatly contributing to retrogression at Town House.
Speaking to this publication after her visit from the United States of America following an invitation by Women Democracy Network, Kasipo described the journey as an eye opening experience.
The Network is a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) which works with women from around the world in an effort to enhance democracy.
Kasipo said the conference clearly spelt out that democracy will not be full democracy without the involvement of women.
She added that it was a capacity building programme for women in leadership positions especially mayors.
“They are realizing that women are facing hindrances in getting into politics or leadership positions,” Kasipo said.
She further explained that women are failing to get into leadership positions because of a lack of transparency in processes.
“Women are failing to get into leadership positions because there is lack of transparency,” she said.
Turning on local governance Kasipo indicated that the conference clearly spelt out that local authorities are not private entities and must function in a manner which is accessible to residents.
“There is therefore need for transparency in our dealings.
“Everyone has a right to know in minute detail to know what is happening in local authorities. That can be achieved by harnessing social media.
“For instance the budgeting process there is need for everyone’s input.
“There is need for engagement in the utilization of available resources,” she said.
The city’s number one made a clarion call to work towards achieving transparency.
“We need to work as council to be as transparent as possible. UCAZ is also dealing with transparency issues. Central government’s vision 2030 is also addressing issues of transparency. So this means we have to work towards being transparent,” she said.
Kasipo said for the sake of development in the city there is need to take responsibility.
“We (council) must take responsibility we are not transparent. We are not involving communities
“The consequences are that people wil,l start to think councils are entities separate from them,” she said.
The mayor said with the involvement of residents’ council can just play coordinative roles were everyone will be involved and will have a sense of belonging to the city’s development.
“We must come together and work out on the issues. There is need to bring about a sense of ownership. Transparency will assist in bridging the gap and a sense of mistrust which existed between residents and council over the years,” she said.
She said at the core of the cities and the country’s development is to empower women and youths in the areas of development.
“We need to come up with projects to assist women and youths. The projects will be mutually beneficial as they will also benefit council,” she said.
She said the issue of unemployment was also extensively discussed at the American conference.
“Unemployment rates especially in the third world countries are very high. We need to come up with sustainable income generating projects and creating sustainable employment. Our youths and women projects must not be about employing a single individual but a lot of people,” she said.
She gave an example of Guatemala where she said women and youths came up together and started a fruit canning project which is currently employing hundreds.
“Thos are the kinds of programmes which we need and from the trip I realized it is possible for our women and youths to start such projects if an enabling environment has been created,” she said.
Another issue which need to be addressed Kasipo said is safety of women in public places.
“One of the areas we focused on was the fostering of safety in public spaces for women.
“Women especially in third world countries are not safe in public spaces.Women are being abused in public spaces.Women are not free to walk around we need to ensure safe cities
“There is need to address the issues of public lightning and also regulate drinking in public places,” she said.