Bulawayo residents in anti-council protest
Flora Fadzai Sibanda, Chronicle Reporter
BULAWAYO residents yesterday demonstrated against the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) outside the Large City Hall over poor service delivery and ever-rising water bills.
The residents who were waving placards marched from the corner of 10th Ave and Fife Street.
Some of the placards were written ‘NO TO SEWAGE BURSTS’, ‘WE DEMAND RESPECT’, ‘NO TO HIGH RATES, NO NO’, ‘HAYIBO IDOLOBHO SELINUKA SIFUNA LENZE KAHLE’ and ‘HIGH RATES POOR SERVICE’
They sang songs outside the hall asking the mayor councillor Solomon Mguni and the spokesperson Mrs Nesisa Mpofu to come and address them.
The two did not come out to address the demonstrators.
The residents left the placards at City Hall.
Residents said they are going to protest until the BCC authorities hear their concerns and act on them.
A resident from ward 13 Mr Methuseli Bhebhe said they were now frustrated due to BCC’s inability to deliver services while raising rates.
“In ward 13 there are some families that share toilets. We have been complaining for the longest time. However we still have not seen any action. This is really disheartening because it shows that BCC does not care about people’s health. At the moment there is always no water,” said Mr Bhebhe.
He said the water crisis is not the only problem residents are facing as council is also failing to maintain roads and fix sewage pipes.
Mr Melusi Moyo said BCC is robbing people with the new rates that they have set.
He said rates are increasing while there is water shedding, with some people going for days without water.
“Today we are here to show the council that we are tired. As we leave here, we are going to leave the placards right at their City Hall door so that they can read them as they are leaving. Once we come back for the second time the mayor will speak to us whether he likes it or not,” said Mr Moyo.
Mrs Margret Moyo said the area where she lives always has a burst pipe, with effluent flowing.
“Council does not respect us. How do they expect us to live in a city that has poor service delivery? The city is now dirty because they are not taking good care of it,” she said.
The chairman of the People’s Progressive Party of Zimbabwe Mr Timothy Chiguvare who visited the Chronicle newsroom yesterday said they have served BCC with a letter of demand to improve service delivery and failure to do so will result in legal action being taken against it.
He said he has been going around the city and has noted that BCC was infringing on people’s rights through failure to deliver.
“We are taking note of five major areas namely, provision of water, city parking, arrest of vendors, sewage crisis and collection of refuse,” he said.
Mr Chiguvare said should the city council fail to meet the demands that have been set before the proper time legal action shall be taken against them.
The council’s public relations officer Mrs Bongiwe Ngwenya said:
“We are aware of the questions that you sent. However, at the moment we are very busy. We have put the questions on the to-do schedule that will soon be attended to.”–@flora_sibanda