Zimbabwe has a population of around 13 million people. Of this population, 75% to 80% live in rural areas. The 60 Rural District Councils (RDCs) are responsible for the welfare and the general socio-economic development of these people.
Every single day these same councils make decisions that impact significantly on the lives of their respective citizens. Councillors and Council Officials spend much time and effort on consulting and working together with ordinary citizens, entrepreneurs and a great number of local organisations in order to serve their mandate.
Rural District Councils have a need for consultation, research and guidance, whether in preparing their long term plans and carrying out their daily duties. The Association of Rural District Councils (ARDCZ) plays a crucial role in providing such information and advice.
The ARDCZ is a body corporate recognised by the Rural District Councils Act 29:13 which forms the legal basis of rural self-governance in the country. It was established in July 1993 following the abolition of the dual and racially based system of Rural Councils and District Councils that had formed Zimbabwe’s rural local government system since before independence.
The Association’s vision is that of a nation of democratic, efficient, effective, accountable and transparent, economically and socially viable local governments.
To advance and safeguard the rights, powers and duties enjoyed by the Rural District Councils and to promote local government and its role in development and service provision.
In pursuance of its mission the Association of Rural District Councils of Zimbabwe (ARDCZ) acknowledges the following broad objectives:
- Enhancing the role and status of Rural District Councils.
- Transforming local government in rural Zimbabwe to enable it to fulfil its developmental role.
- Ensuring the full participation of women in local government affairs.
- Strengthening the relevance of national policy affecting local government.
The ARDCZ also assumes responsibility for:
- Representing, promoting and protecting the rights and interests of Rural District Councils.
- Advocating for appropriate and supportive policies for sound local government practices
- Disseminating local government information and promoting education on rural local government matters.
- Providing a forum for the sharing of experiences and lessons learned within the RDCs.
- Facilitating collaboration between and among members, government and any other body or association having as its objectives the advancement of local government
- Scrutinizing actual and draft legislation affecting the constitution, scope, rights, duties, powers and privileges of Rural District Councils and making such representations as may be deemed desirable.
- Providing advisory and other services to Rural District Councils
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