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Residents heckle Bulawayo mayor

by Prosper Ndlovu
02 Apr 2016 at 14:07hrs | Views
BULAWAYO residents yesterday heckled and booed Mayor Councillor Martin Moyo during a stakeholders meeting as they accused the MDC-led council of running down the city.

Residents took turns to lampoon and denigrate Moyo before Acting President Phelekezela Mphoko, Cabinet Ministers, MPs and business executives who attended the meeting at the Large City Hall.

A resident, who identified himself as a vendor, torched the storm when he accused councillors of parcelling in-fill stands to their cronies, which he said was causing disorder in the city.

He accused council of failing to provide stands for scores of homeless residents.

Another resident accused Moyo and his team of failing to provide adequate refuse collection services and made reference to Makokoba, which has since been declared the dirtiest suburb in the city by the Environmental Management Agency.

He was joined by Dennis Ndlovu, a former mayor, who blasted the present crop of councillors for reversing development.

Ndlovu queried the acquisition of a piece of land at Ascot race course by the deputy mayor Gift Banda (MDC), which he said was unprocedural.

He also questioned the awarding of a tender for the proposed $60 million Egodini terminus upgrading to a South African firm, Terracotta.

Some people alleged councillors were already promising jobs at the Egodini project to their supporters.

"Ceasefire," shouted the Acting President as he sought to calm the large gathering that scrambled to ask questions about the issues raised.

He suggested it would be wise for council to reverse the Ascot land resolution if it was not properly handled before asking Moyo to respond.

The mayor tried to explain how the land was allocated to Banda but the crowd kept interjecting.

Bulawayo Provincial Minister of State Nomthandazo Eunice Moyo piled the pressure on council as she accused it of lack of transparency.

"There's nothing wrong with development of Egodini but I know that something is wrong with the signing of that tender. The mayor knows what I'm talking about," she said.

The minister queried why the tender was signed last year when it was issued in 2010. She also accused council of working alone without involving her office.

One woman said she has been on the housing waiting list for the past 26 years and was yet to get a stand despite paying for the housing form each year.

On a related issue, Mloyiswayizizwe Ngwazani complained to Mphoko about alleged corruption by public officers, which he blamed for stifling development in the country.

A representative from Bupta, a local commuter omnibus firm, urged Mphoko to facilitate decentralisation of issuing of operators' licences for transporters.

In his address, Mphoko slammed corrupt conduct at all levels, which he said has led to the demise of Bulawayo and its economy.

"Bulawayo is a national asset, it's your heritage. So, don't destroy it. We need honest leadership," he said.

"Bantu bakithi sizintshaka and that's the problem. We've got a city like this which has got good infrastructure yet we let thieves strip it and go on to complain of marginalisation. We can't develop when we still have this attitude. There's a lot of potential here and you need to stop corruption and let Bulawayo develop."

Mphoko has been in the city since Wednesday on a Zim-Asset familiarisation tour during which he visited companies and public entities and engaged different stakeholders on diverse developmental issues.

Source - chronicle
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