HomeOpinion & AnalysisBulawayo mayor: Are you sure?

Bulawayo mayor: Are you sure?

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Congratulations Martin Moyo for being elected mayor of the City of Bulawayo.

– Cont Mhlanga

This is an extremely huge responsibility more so now, because of the Constitution where you are required to lead two councils, the local authority and the provincial metro council.

You resume leadership and office under very difficult and trying times on an MDC-T ticket where your party is not in the government, or to be blunt, where your party has lost relevance in the government and pushed far back to iziporori, a bunch of loud mouths.

Serious developmental programmes require government funding yet you have to face those with no governmental power on your side. Politically, the city you are expected to lead has become an island once again, a major cause for its marginalisation since 1980.

The first decade after independence, the city was disconnected from the government when it was under Zapu influence.

When all the country’s comrades from the bush and their children were learning to do business with the government, residents of this city were shut out because most of them were Zapu members.

In the second decade of independence after the Unity Accord (thanks to Joshua Nkomo), the locals found themselves chasing shadows and deputising their northern counterparts and learning to how to deal with a selfish inefficient centralised government system far away in Harare, a process that was cut short in 2000 again when the city got disconnected from the government one more time through your party MDC-T.

By this time, our young people from the region had given up on the government and were turning to South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and other countries for survival. The years of the government of national unity gave the city a new hope to reconnect with the government, but it was not to be after July 31 election results. The city fell back to a political island where you have risen now as its mayor.

Are you sure mayor that you will run the city and take it out of the dilemma that it finds itself in or will it be run for you from Davies Hall by the Zanu PF provincial chairman Callistus Ndlovu and Eunice Moyo the metropolitan Cabinet minister?

Now that Zanu PF wants to crack the hold of MDC-T in Bulawayo and build numbers for the 2018 elections, they have no business to implement infrastructural and industrial projects to revive the city through you and your MDC-T council to give your party undue credit.

The Davies Hall administration mayor, will haunt you for the rest of your term turning you to further the cause of marginalising this city — reading from your acceptance speech and your vision for the city thus far.

You have no reason to run ahead of the government and take over its responsibility and make it yours. You will put yourself and the city in a fix.

Dumiso Dabengwa tried it by taking the responsibility of bringing the Zambezi water to Bulawayo ahead of government and to this day he has not even managed to build just the Shangani Dam! In your acceptance speech, I got worried by what you said in the list of things that you compiled as your priority now that you are mayor of Bulawayo.

This is why I got hot under the collar and thought I should respond to provoke your thinking and stretch your mind to see behind the wall. Your party has a weakness of seeing the wall only and not behind the wall, a weakness it has rubbed to the majority of its leadership.

Mayor, how can fixing roads in the city be more important to you than the lives of the young people in this city, the 15 to 34-year-olds?

Why should you put your focus on roads and not on young citizens of your city 90% of who are living painful, idle, insecure lives during and after school regardless of them being schooled or college graduates?
I have noticed this trend over the years from all our successive mayors since independence where they run the city as if it is an old people’s home, a city with no vision for the future relegating to the back facilities, institutions, societies and activities that mould young people to become better productive and responsible citizens who would have jobs and are able to pay rates to enable the city to meet its obligations to them as citizens.

Bulawayo in the last 33 years has become not just a scrapyard — to borrow from the President Robert Mugabe — but it has become an old people’s home of street vendors who don’t care about investing in developing the productivity of its young population.

Parents spend thousands of dollars putting children through the school system only for them to end up living a useless life in this city — and you think roads deserve more attention than this situation! I kind of don’t get you my mayor.

You mention water and electricity as your other areas of attention. Are you sure these are your responsibility?

I suggest you refocus your vision mayor and run a city that is responsible for looking after its young citizens by providing them both physical and financial support through the Bulawayo City Council business unit partnerships to afford them to grow their ability to create wealth for themselves, their families and the city.

It is your responsibility to provide the children of this city with economic opportunities, so get on with it!

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