BY SILAS NKALA
THE main opposition MDC Alliance has blamed the central government for crippling service delivery in Bulawayo by recalling its councillors.
This was revealed by MDC Alliance Bulawayo spokesperson Swithern Chirowodza who accused the Bulawayo town clerk Christopher Dube and central government of failing to provide residents with water.
He accused central government for assisting the MDC-T faction led by Douglas Mwonzora by funding it and recalling over 100 councillors across the country, which has stalled service delivery in most urban areas.
Chirowodza’s remarks come at a time Bulawayo City Council is facing several challenges, including failure to deliver water, rampant sewage bursts, accumulation of waste in the city and a crippling strike by workers who are demanding better wages.
He said before the MDC Alliance councillors were recalled, they were in the process of lobbying the town clerk to resolve the water crisis in the city.
“Before the BCC imposed water-rationing on residents, the MDC Alliance councillors had lobbied the town clerk and the BCC engineering department to resolve the water problem,” Chirowodza said.
“The lobbying was also done in Parliament. Bulawayo Central Member of Parliament, Nicola Watson, asked for a ministerial statement on Bulawayo’s water crisis in January 2020.
“This was before the BCC imposed a severe water-rationing regime, which now sees some residents going for up to one and a half months without any water flowing from their taps.
“In typical Zanu PF fashion, the half-hearted and helpless ministerial statement came towards the end of 2020,” he said.
Chirowodza said the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) was legally obliged to provide raw water to municipalities, but raw water supplies to the BCC had not been augmented since the start of water-rationing in 2020.
Last Friday, the Bulawayo acting town clerk Sikhangele Zhou said three dams, which were decommissioned last year, had been recommissioned.
She, however, said water supplies to residents were still constrained.
On issues of burst sewers and failure to collect refuse, the BCC blamed the workers’ strike which started last Wednesday.
A consultant, Paul Kruger, who was engaged last year by government to look into Bulawayo’s water problems said the water crisis was due to the BCC’s lack of capacity to pump water after dams were decommissioned last year.
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