THE Bulawayo City Council has turned down a request by the elderly, retirees and pensioners to slash their water tariffs and offer them free parking in the central business district (CBD).
The elderly, pensioners and retirees had written to the local authority seeking a special dispensation citing poverty caused by the dire economic situation in the country.
“We, therefore, feel that our elderly senior citizens and pensioners be considered for reduced water and rates tariffs and be given free parking discs for the CBD.
“We appreciate that some consideration was given to the physically challenged, but now request that this consideration be extended to cover all the senior citizens and pensioners,” they wrote to council.
However, council’s chamber secretary Sikhangele Zhou, finance director Kempton Ndimamnde and health director Zanele Hwalima, turned down the request arguing that all Bulawayo residents already enjoyed free five kilolitres of water.
“The director of health services had commented that council already helped vulnerable senior citizens by offering reduced water and rates tariffs. Free parking discs were not a basic necessity and should not be offered for free,” the latest council minutes read.
“The financial director had advised that the plight of the elderly people was well known and council could not do much in an economy that was not performing well. Every household was entitled to five kilolitres of water per month and that was enough for a small sized family and pensioners were not expected to have large families.”