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In this Open Newsroom, we discussed what the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) should finance using devolution funds. We were joined by BCC deputy mayor Mlandu Ncube and two community activists with interests in service delivery and civic participation.
The Citizen Bulletin recently reported that a storm is brewing within Bulawayo City Council (BCC) chambers over whether to channel devolution funds to road works or urgently use them for water augmentation projects in the face of COVID-19.
Our coverage has driven conversations amongst different stakeholders, including ordinary residents, about the use of devolution funds in general and the urgency of addressing roads and water challenges in particular. Based on these conversations, we’re holding a virtual Open Newsroom on Friday, Feb 5. 11:00am - 12:00pm.
We’ll bring community members, government bureaucrats, advocates and anyone else interested together for a conversation about how BCC should use devolution funds. We want to better understand not just how devolution funds are used, but how the community is dealing with unprecedented challenges posed by poor roads and scarcity of water.
Our partner, Community Podium, is conducting a Twitter poll, as part of pre-engagement for our upcoming Open Newsroom session. Complete the survey here and share your views about what service delivery priorities you'd like BCC to finance with the devolution funds.
Please share this flier | Graphics by The Citizen Bulletin
What to Expect
The Devolution Funds Open Newsroom will be held on Zoom for speakers, and Facebook Live for the rest of the participants. We will start with probing questions directed to our speakers based on their comments in our recent story on devolution funds.
We will ask their opinions on what they think should be done with the funds, based on community needs, and changes to service delivery priorities caused by COVID-19.
How to Participate
Our Open Newsroom is designed to facilitate community listening, and collaboration around news | Graphics by The Citizen Bulletin
Participants have two options of participating. They can send their questions to the session moderator via WhatsApp, or post their comments via the Facebook Live stream. The moderator will actively use participants' comments to steer the discussion.
What if I Miss the Live Discussion?
We know that a majority of our audiences, mostly low-income communities, will not be able to participate in the virtual meeting as they can hardly spare a dollar to buy internet data bundles. Don’t worry; if you miss the live discussion, you can request short, digestible video snippets of the conversation via WhatsApp. Send a chat to +263 7 18636460 after the session and request the video.
Note: We will update this article with a short video snippet after the session.
Open Newsroom is an experimental project of The Citizen Bulletin designed to facilitate collaboration between our newsroom and our audiences in news reporting. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are hosting our Open Newsroom sessions online. The initiative is part of our Membership in News Initiative supported by the Media Development Investment Fund via the Membership Puzzle Project.