By Andile Mpofu
BULAWAYO residents have not seen an improvement in their livelihoods since the opposition MDC took control of the local authority in the 2000 elections, Professor Jonathan Moyo has opined.
Moyo, who was an MP for Tsholotsho North in Matebeleland North province as well as a cabinet Minister in the Robert Mugabe government, said even Zanu-PF Councillors did nothing for the people of Bulawayo when they were in office from 1987 to 2000.
According to the self-exiled Moyo, the only period the residents of the second-biggest city in the country enjoyed some respectable measure of good local authority management was when the PF-ZAPU Councillors were in office.
PF-ZAPU controlled Bulawayo at both ward and constituency levels between 1980 and 1987, when it merged with Mugabe’s Zanu-PF to form Zanu-PF.
“Between 1980 and 1987, the city of Bulawayo was the best governed and the most delivering local authority in Zimbabwe in ZAPU’s hands, under a ZANU-PF central government which was on a warpath against ZAPU,” Moyo wrote on social media.
He added that “things started falling apart after the Unity Accord in 1987 and got worse from 2000” when the opposition MDC under Morgan Tsvangirai swept control of virtually all urban areas and has to date maintained its stranglehold on urban local authorities.
Bulawayo City Council, currently under the comtrol of the MDC-A led by Nelson Chamisa, is facing a debilitating water crisis which has seen some residents going for more than a month without water.
In September this year, the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) under pressure from residents groupings started drilling boreholes at Epping Forest in Nyamandlovu as part of efforts by the government to augment water supply in Bulawayo following the release of $205 million by Treasury for the project.
While cases of corruption by elected officials have been fairly low in Bulawayo, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission descended on Bulawayo City Council in September this year to investigate alleged corruption and malpractices in the municipality, particularly issues to do with allocation and sales of council land.
The team of ZACC investigators met Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) leadership and other civic society organisations which have been voicing concern over alleged unprocedural parcelling of land in the local authority. – Zimbabwe Voice ■