Councillors claim sabotage

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BULAWAYO city councillors have accused residents’ associations of sowing discord by misleading residents about developmental issues.

MTHANDAZO NYONI
OWN CORRESPONDENT

Councillors that attended a meeting convened by Habakkuk Trust recently revealed that residents’ associations, especially the Bulawayo Progressive Residents’ Association (BPRA), always undermined council’s efforts and instead sought to incite opposition against the local authority.

“Residents’ associations are not co-operative and are always undermining our authority which is totally uncalled for,” one councillor said.

“They want to dictate to council what should be done, but whenever we call them for meetings, they always boycott.”

Another councillor said residents’ associations should be removed to pave way for development.

“We are always fighting with them and that does not promote development at all. How can we work while we are divided? I wish they could be scrapped to pave way for development,” the councillor said. Councillors accused residents’ associations of only being good at criticising without offering any reasonable interventions.

“They are always criticising everything we do. How can that be? Is it true that we are always failing to deliver? Whose agenda are they pushing?”

BPRA organising secretary Ambrose Sibindi dismissed the councillors’ accusations saying they were laced with lies.

“We do not know what they are talking about because as far as we are concerned, we work with them nicely. Yes, we may differ here and there, but that does not mean we are not co-operative,” Sibindi said.

“They should remember that we are the voice of the residents, so whenever they make decisions we should be informed. However, there are two or three councillors who are always a problem, but I cannot disclose their names,” he added.

Bulawayo United Resident’s Association chairperson Winos Dube said councillors should understand that the role of residents’ associations is to monitor and watch over service delivery.

“We cannot just sit and watch them failing to deliver as per their mandate. The reason why these councillors are complaining is because they do not consult us and they just make decisions on their own. They forget that this city belongs to the people and not them,” Dube said.