THE Bulawayo City Council took a principled stand not to allow its school bus to be used to ferry people to First Lady Grace Mugabe’s rally at Amazulu Sports Club last month.
According to a recent council report, the First Lady’s backers requested that the bus should be availed to ferry people to the venue of the rally.
However, councillors strongly resisted attempts to use any school buses for political purposes, saying they should only be used for educational activities.
The councillors asked if the bus would be carrying school pupils to the rally and if not, this would be tantamount to abuse of council property.
The local authority roundly rejected the request for the bus.
The story echoes complaints about the abuse of Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco) buses by the First Lady’s backers.
On Monday we reported that a senior MDC official in Matabeleland South, Pilate Ndebele, had written to Parliament and a couple of ministers complaining about the abuse of the buses.
A number of Zupco buses carry large posters of Grace written “In solidarity with Amai” while others have posters of her husband, President Robert Mugabe.
Grace was recently nominated as the Zanu PF women’s league new boss, as well as into the party’s central committee, paving the way for her husband to appoint her to the powerful politburo at the elective congress in December.
Ndebele said it was sad that Zanu PF had gone to the extent of personalising State property by reducing Zupco into party property.
The abuse of State property to support political campaigns is certainly not something new.
Zanu PF has over the years been in the habit of commandeering State resources to aid its campaigns during elections and the practice has had fatal consequences for some parastatals.
Zupco and the National Railways of Zimbabwe, just to name a few, are struggling for survival because of such prolonged abuse.
Therefore, Bulawayo councillors have to be applauded for thwarting attempts to divert the school bus to an activity that it was not designated for.