BULAWAYO residents yesterday urged the newly-elected mayor Martin Moyo to hit the ground running and address perennial problems dogging the city.
Moyo, a Ward Three councillor, was on Monday unanimously elected by fellow councillors to succeed Thaba Moyo who had been at the helm of the city since 2008.
He would be deputised by former Njube Sundowns director and Ward Five councillor Gift Banda.
The election of the two came as a surprise as MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai preferred National University of Science and Technology academic Mandla Nyathi and Ernest Rafamoyo for the two positions.
But residents who spoke to Southern Eye said they did not expect politics to cloud service delivery, but for the new council to make up for the failures of their predecessors.
Didymous Shonhe of Northend suburb said he was worried about the problems besetting Bulawayo residents and was hopeful politics would not stand in the way of service delivery.
“We know water is there, but why is it not reaching the people of Bulawayo? We expect council to do something about this problem,” he said.
Themba Nyoni (62) of Newton West said Moyo and his councillors should seriously prioritise the water issue as residents yearned for reliable supplies.
He also urged the new council to take the allocation of housing and business stands to local residents seriously, claiming outsiders were being given preference.
“Stands should be available, especially business stands,” Nyoni said.
“Most of business stands are given to people from outside Bulawayo at the expense of local residents.
“We are left out. We do not have access to business stands.”
Nomusa Sibanda a vendor from Nkulumane appealed to the new city fathers to be lenient on residents trying to eke out a living on the streets, particularly in the central business district (CBD).
“If only the mayor could allow us to sell our stuff without being harassed by the police,” she said. “We lose a lot of money as police take away our wares.”
Another vendor Otilia Moreen Ngwenya said she expected council to create more space for vendors in the CBD.
“The reason why such an old woman like me sits on the streets it is not out of choice,” she said. “I look after my grandchildren who are orphans and this is the only way I can provide for them.”
Feeroza Garnie urged city fathers to help restore Bulawayo to its status of being the cleanest city in Zimbabwe.
“Everyone knows that Bulawayo was the cleanest city in Zimbabwe, but now we have problems of litter,” Garnie said.
“There are now limited litter bins in town and people end up throwing rubbish in the bush resulting in the outbreak of diseases.”
The previous council, dominated by MDC-T, was accused of being the worst in the history of Bulawayo following a deterioration in service delivery and frequent strikes by workers.