BPRA Holds Social Accountability Conference

Residents follow proceedings at a conference held by Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) last year

Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) will on Saturday 10 November 2012 hold a Social Accountability Conference meant to provide a platform for residents to dialogue with ministers in the inclusive government on critical issues of development and governance. The conference, which will be held at the Large City Hall from 0900hrs to 1700hrs will run under the theme “The Right to Know.” The main objective of the conference is to strengthen the role of residents as engaged partners in the governance process and to stimulate local participation through engagement between the residents and holders of public office.  At least 1200 delegates, mostly residents’ leaders from all of Bulawayo’s 29 wards are expected to attend the conference. Other delegates will be drawn from political parties, civil society and the religious sector. Speakers expected at the conference include the Minister of Water Resources Development and Management, Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, the Minister of State Enterprises and Parastatals, Honourable Gorden Moyo, the Minister of Education, Sports Arts and Culture, Hon David Coltart and the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Honourable Welshman Ncube. Deputy Prime Minister, Honourable Thokozani Khupe is expected to officially open the conference.

The holding of the Social Accountability Conference is based on BPRA’s belief that holders of public office should account to citizens for the work they do, as they are ultimately in office at their behest and meant to advance public interests. In line with this, the various ministers are expected to account to the residents of Bulawayo, explaining what their ministries have been doing towards enhancing development and promoting the welfare of residents.  Minister Sipepa is expected to update residents on what his ministry is doing to end Bulawayo’s water woes. He is expected to focus on progress with the Mtshabezi pipeline, the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project and other projects meant to end Matabeleland’s water problems. Meanwhile, Minister Moyo is expected to dwell on progress being made by his ministry to resuscitate parastatals in light of the fact that most of them are under-capitalised and failing to operate profitably and competitively. Minister Coltart is expected to update residents on steps being taken by the government to improve education in the country, and particularly in Matabeleland which has complained of marginalisation in education. Lastly, Minister Ncube is expected to appraise residents on efforts by his ministry to improve the performance of industries as a central tool towards spurring economic growth in the country. Inevitably, he will also have to answer questions on the issue of the Distressed and Marginalised Areas Fund (DIMAF) which most people feel has failed to solve problems of de-industrialisation in Matabeleland.

This will not be the first time that BPRA holds a conference of this nature. The association held its first Social Accountability Conference in 2012 which was attended by 800 delegates. Its follow up conference, a Service Delivery Conference which was held at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair on 11 September 2012 was graced by 2000 delegates.

Alert – BPRA Weekend Activities (2, 3 and 4 November 2012)

Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association shall be holding Constituency Consultative Meetings in Bulawayo this weekend to unpack the COPAC Draft Constitution to the residents of Bulawayo. The moral imperative behind the initiative is to augment and reinforce mechanisms of popular control by bringing Members of Parliament, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and residents to a point of dialogue  concerning the draft constitution and solidify their position regarding the direction which the country should take, ahead of the referendum. It is the conviction of the association that there is need to minimise the hegemony of political parties in dominating the debates  around the remaining stages of the constitution making process and to take the discussions to the communities to ensure that residents become engaged and informed partners.

The schedule for the meetings is as follows:

 Upcoming Constituency Meetings Schedule

Fri. 2 Nov.
City Centre & Sauerstown, Trenace
Presbyterian Church (City Church)
COPAC representatives, CSO and BPRA representatives
Sat. 3 Nov.

Makhokhoba, Thorngrove &B.F, Mzilikazi
Stanley  Hall
COPAC representatives, CSO and BPRA representatives
Sat. 3 Nov.

Sizinda/  Tshabalala & B.G, Bellevue
Tshabalala Hall
COPAC representatives, CSO and BPRA representatives
Sun. 4 Nov.
Nketa 6, 7, 8, 9 & Emganwini
Nketa Hall
COPAC representatives, CSO and BPRA representatives
Sun. 4 Nov.
Suburbs, Queen’s Park, Waterford & Burnside
School of Mines
COPAC representatives, CSO and BPRA representatives


Information Department
Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association
Bus. Tel: +263 9 61196
Cell: +263 772 516 729
Twitter: @byopra
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Blog: bprainfo.blogspot.com