BULAWAYO Provincial Affairs minister Eunice Sandi Moyo yesterday said the city council must not be allowed to play a leading role in preparations for the African Union Region V Games because it is controlled by the opposition.
SUKOLUHLE MTHETHWA/ THANDIWE MOYO
Sandi Moyo said she risked being fired by President Robert Mugabe if Bulawayo City Council officials were allowed to play a leading role in the the games’ local organising committee (LOC).
Bulawayo is controlled by the MDC-T, which won all the city’s 29 wards in last year’s elections.
“They can go to the President (Robert Mugabe) and tell him that I have been using MDC and they can have me fired for using MDC,” she said.
“I will be ruined politically. I am not saying remove the councillors, but involve the party (Zanu PF).
“(Bulawayo City Council director of housing and community services Isaiah) Magagula is nobody in this province.
“He cannot tell you who to work with. If there is a problem he cannot make laws without me knowing about them; it’s not acceptable.”
Bulawayo would host the regional games in December and yesterday’s meeting was meant to update stakeholders’ on progress but turned out to be a Zanu PF affair. Sandi Moyo made her remarks in response to complaints directed at a government engineer Herbert Karuma who is, in charge of the construction of infrastructure for the games.
Karuma had been asked to clarify criteria contractors used in hiring non-skilled and semi-skilled workers for the rehabilitation of Luveve Stadium and other facilities.
Sandi Moyo said although the games were for Bulawayo residents regardless of political affiliation, the LOC should rather liaise with residents’ associations because they were the proper people’s representatives compared to council.
“They (council) are from a different political party and they do not come with the same ideas,” she said.
“If there is a problem come to my office. If there are issues like these, involve my office not councillors.
“Zanu PF is in power and it doesn’t matter that we lost in Bulawayo. If Highlanders win and they have an injured player, they still remain Highlanders.”
According to council minutes, Magagula was co-opted into the LOC as one of the council’s mandates is to liaise with the LOC and contractors at the venues.
Council is the custodian of the venues, which include Luveve, Barbourfields and White City stadiums as well as the Bulawayo City Pool that would be used for the games. Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial vice-chairperson Christopher Mdingwa Dube said council was using people from MDC-T to employ labour for the construction of the games’ venues.
“Councillors use people from their parties to choose who can work there.
“Make use of residents’ associations,” he said.
Zanu PF has led protests against contractors who allegedly hired labour from outside the region to work on the facilities.