THE financially-struggling Kusile Rural Distirct Council in Lupane recently approached Bulawayo City Council seeking to have its vehicles repaired by the latter for free, but the request was turned down, Southern Eye has learnt.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
In turning down the request, Bulawayo council’s engineering services director Simela Dube said the local authority was also struggling to service its own fleet and could, therefore, not give a helping hand to Kusile council.
The three vehicles included a Nissan 2,7-litre Hardbody, 5-tonne Nissan truck and a Toyota Hilux twin-cab.
Part of the request letter dated July 30 and addressed to Bulawayo town clerk Middleton Nyoni, read: “Kusile Rural District Council is the local authority responsible for the administration of rural Lupane District. The local authority is in dire financial straits which has resulted in three vehicles lying broken in the council car park. The council kindly requests your assistance in repairing the vehicles.”
Dube said most of Bulawayo City Council’s vehicle fleet was grounded and “cannibalised” to keep others on the road.
At one time, the local authority planned to convert earthmoving equipment worth millions of dollars such as bulldozers and landfill compactors to toys for the amusement of children at playgrounds due to lack of funds to repair them.
“After debate, it was agreed that council was financially incapacitated and could not afford any additional maintenance costs as its own fleet was also grounded on account of financial constraints,” latest minutes of the council general purposes committee read.
The council, however, resolved to offer “technical assessment and analysis of the repairs” provided the Lupane council foots travel and other related costs for its mechanics.