BULAWAYO deputy mayor, Gift Banda, has bemoaned the discord between central government and the local authority which he claimed was affecting service delivery and in some cases had led to the unplanned construction of residential areas.
by KHANYILE MLOTSHWA
Banda was addressing over 400 residents who attended a service delivery conference at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair grounds over the weekend.
“In terms of the country’s laws, it was said that Bulawayo was supposed to be at a radius of 40 kilometres,” he said.
BULAWAYO deputy mayor, Gift Banda[/Caption]
“We could give you two stands each. But as it is, we are surrounded by Umguza. We are supposed to go for 10 more years before we incorporate Umguza into Bulawayo.
“And if you look at, it’s as if the people of Umguza (Umguza Rural District Council) seem to be doing some things on purpose. Honestly, how can you have Mbudane developing into a full township just like that? And on your way to Matopo, just behind Burnside, some people are building there without planning. What city are we going to be that has townships (high density suburbs) developing behind low density surbubs?”
He also cited Cowdray Park’s Hlalani Kuhle housing stands as an example of government confusion affecting service delivery in the city.
“When we talk about those housing stands, we should always bear in mind how they came to be,” he said. “As BCC, we are doing everything to solve the mistake that was created by the government in Cowdray Park. They settled people there without planning. We are trying all our best there, but we were put in this mess by the (national) leadership. As you are rightly saying, they made double allocations on some stands. If they really wanted to do something that is right, how could they have done double allocations? We were thrust there to solve problems.”
Residents said in resolving double allocation of stands, the local authority was now eating into the land designated for a school in the area, which has left the school with no space to build classrooms.
“You are saying you want provincial councils so that we have our own thing in Bulawayo,” Banda said. “If we have our own thing here, like we always do, we will do well because we are organised. As it is our hands are tied on a lot of issues. We cannot employ. We have clinics, we have an interest in opening them but we can’t. Our boss (Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere) is saying we should not employ.”