Service delivery grinds to a halt in Bulawayo

Service delivery grinds to a halt in Bulawayo

By Sifiso Sibanda

THE rot in opposition led urban councils has reached alarming levels in Bulawayo with residents up in arms with the city fathers for poor service delivery ranging from uncollected garbage to contaminated water-induced diarrhea outbreaks.

Famed for being the cleanest city in the country, Bulawayo is slowly losing its glamour amid chaos and maladministration in the opposition led local authority.

Basics such garbage collection are now alien to the country’s second largest city with heaps of garbage pilling up in the central business district.

ZBC News went a step further to investigate and the situation makes for sad reading, with collection of garbage having become irregular as the Bulawayo City Council fails to manage its fleet of refuse compactors which currently stands at just 12 instead of a minimum of 25 trucks.

Residents had no kind words for the city fathers whom they accuse of failing the community and running down the city.

“The city council has run down operations in the city, as they fail to enforce their bylaws,” a resident said.

“The blame falls on the city fathers. They have failed to run this city,” ankther said.

“It is their mandate to manage the affairs of this town well given the mandate they have, but it’s things fall apart now. We are at a risk of disease outbreak due to uncollected garbage, ” said another resident.

A visit to the city’s vehicle maintenance workshop was quite revealing as the bulk of the fleet is awaiting repairs while some of the garbage collection trucks have been decommissioned.

The sorry state of affairs in the opposition-led local authority was summed up Bulawayo City Council spokesperson, Nesisa Mpofu.

“We need at least 25 compactors, but we have about 10 and this is affecting our operations. We also know that garbage is piling up, but we have sub contracted some truckers to help out,” she said.

As if this is not enough, the city of Bulawayo is currently battling a diarrhoea outbreak whose source is believed to be contaminated water in Pumula suburb, with most western suburbs having been affected.

Confirming the outbreak, the city’s director of Health Services, Dr Edwin Sibanda Mzingwabe, said 1 663 cases are being attended to, with 40 new cases having been reported this Monday.

“There are cases of diarrhoea which was a result contamination of water by raw sewage in Pumula and sadly this has spread to almost all western suburbs, with 1663 active cases to date.”

The Second Republic has been cleaning up the mess in opposition-led urban councils, with the government taking over rehabilitation of roads under the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme, while the Presidential Borehole Drilling Programme has also ensured the availability of water in areas which had gone for decades without safe drinking water.