Aspiring independent councillor for Bulawayo’s Lobengula ward 14, Lwazi Khanye (27), has accused incumbent councillors of seeking to buy votes by proposing that council should suspend water disconnections to residents until August 31 and slashing water bills by 50% ahead of the July 30 polls.
BY SINDISO DUBE
According to minutes, council already has a standing resolution not to disconnect water to defaulting residents.
The councillors argued that residents were facing serious economic challenges that were making it difficult for them to honour their bills, hence the need for residents to come up with payment plans.
Bulawayo City Council is owed $93 million by residents, $62 million by industrial and commercial bodies, while parastatals and some government ministries owe more than $3 million.
Councillors directed the finance department to assess the impact of writing off 50% of the bills before a final decision can be made on the proposed reprieve.
They also ordered council management to apologise to residents through the media for disconnecting water against a council resolution.
“The current councillors from their respective political parties have been in those positions for the past five years but they never proposed to slash water bills or to come up with paying plans. The economic challenges that they are citing now have been there way before they were elected into office by the same people whom they claim to be representing now because we are only a few weeks to the next election. This is clear vote buying,” Khanye said.
“I urge the electorate to consider if they want to re-elect these people on July 30. Most of these people have not done anything for their wards, but want to be voted in again, nothing will change they have failed and they will keep on failing.”
He urged residents to pay their bills to enable BCC to swiftly provide services.