For some time people in various cities in Zimbabwe have faces the realities of poor service delivery and mismanagement by local authorities and some of these challenges have gone unreported due to lack of reporting channels. Most people used to prefer the traditional media channels like radio, TV and newspapers to report poor service delivery cases. But these methods have got their own challenges like poor coverage resulting in few cases being reported. For example its not every time we report a burst pipe in our neighborhood and the problem is automatically covered in the press and we get immediate attention of the council to come and repair it.
Recently I went to buy lunch at a local restaurant and I came across this funny flier. At first I thought it was one of those being distributed by companies advertising their products in town. So as I read through I got so much interested with the “For Free” part. It’s very rare in Zimbabwe to hear something being offered for free. So I read the whole leaflet and unlike the rest of the fliers I have been given in town this one I didn’t throw into the rubbish bin because I wanted to check the website address on the flier.
So I logged on to www.pupurafakazazim.com.
These are two Shona and Ndebele words joined together to read Pupura and Fakaza. This is an organisation created to provide a platform for us citizens of Zimbabwe to report our social service delivery problems in our cities. For one to send a report you just sent a text message typing your problem and location to a number on the flier. And this text message is for free. The organisation compiles the text messages and forwards them to the relevant authorities. If you want to check the reports you just log on to the organisation’s website address and select the category you want to view. Since the website uses a programme powered by USHAHIDI there is a provision to see a map of the area from which the problem was reported. This kind of a service lets make our local authorities accountable by reporting and informing about our concerns in the areas we live. Hopefully this service will spread to other towns so that it doesn’t only serve residents of Harare.