Does institutionalizing social accountability enhance municipal governance?
a case study of the Harare city council
Social accountability has, throughout the past few decades, emerged as an essential means through which residents within Council jurisdictions participate in local governance. This paper explores the conceptual and contextual issues to the notion of social accountability within the context of the city of Harare. Has the local authority institutionalized social accountability adequately to promote effective municipal governance? What have been the key challenges affecting realization of optimal social accountability outcomes? A comprehensive review of relevant sector literature shows that participatory governance has not been attained in Harare. A purely qualitative methodology was used as part of generating relevant data. Through an analysis of primary data generated during fieldwork, this researcher concludes that citizen participation in urban governance in Harare is tokenistic. Residents are only engaged to rubberstamp decisions exclusively made by Council technocrats. This researcher recommends that there be a paradigmatic shift to ensure that local governance is participatory, egalitarian and responsive.
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