BULAWAYO City Council last weekend embarked on a massive water-shedding programme, which coincided with the Zanu PF rally at White City Stadium on Saturday.
BY SHARON SIBINDI/NIZBERT MOY
Residents in the western suburbs, including Entumbane, Iminyela, Njube, Pelandaba and Emabuthweni, have reportedly gone for more than three days without water amid speculation that the local authority deliberately intended to send a signal to central government that all was not well in the city.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa at the rally on Saturday accused the MDC-T-led Bulawayo City Council of tormenting residents through water disconnections and called for the electorate to vote them out to resolve the water woes.
Ward 13 Pelandaba councillor Lot Siziba confirmed the reports of water problems and scoffed at Mnangagwa’s remarks, who said: “Bulawayo councillors must all be chucked out.”
Siziba said the Zanu PF presidential candidate was day-dreaming.
“I heard from the residents that there was no water since Thursday and this was due to water pipe bursts, as the piping is too old, since they were installed in 1952. They are the ones (Zanu PF government) who take the council funds to Harare and they now want to put the blame on us. This is why we say we want devolution of power,” he said.
“Had it been that we are ruling ourselves, we could have changed these pipes a long time ago. It’s only that we are being sidelined and BCC is running short of staff. This is why they are failing to manage these water pipe bursts.”
Entumbane councillor Gladys Masuku said the problem had since been rectified as of yesterday after consultations with the engineer.
“I am also concerned about the water pipe burst problems as the pipes are very old and they need to be changed. This should not be taken as a political gimmick, as if this was meant to sabotage the rally. Why are we always being blamed? The statements made by the President during the rally were meant to tarnish our image,” she said.
“Even in Harare, they are also blaming the city fathers there, which is not good.”
Ward 1 councillor Mlandu Ncube had similar sentiments on devolution of power.
“The bad person is the person who closed our industry and is refusing devolution and that person is a member of Zanu PF,” he said.