THE MDC-T-controlled Bulawayo City Council is on a collusion course with Bulawayo Metropolitan governor Cain Mathema’s office following a recommendation that the government must pay for electricity usage at the Large City Hall during this year’s Independence Celebrations.
Council has already offered the hall free of charge for the Governor’s Ball on condition the government pays for the electricity used.
The recommendation was scheduled to be discussed at a full council meeting last night.
In February, Mathema’s office wrote to council requesting to use the Large City Hall and White City Stadium for the celebrations.
Mathema, according to a report of the council’s General Purposes Committee, also requested the local authority to provide flowers and decoration accessories for the two events.
But the committee said the governor’s office should pay the electricity bill.
“The office of the Resident Minister for Bulawayo in collaboration with the Provincial Independence Celebrations Committee is preparing for the 33rd Anniversary of Independence Celebrations,” Mathema wrote.
“It is your participation in this year’s event which will assist to make it successful.
“I also take this opportunity to thank you for the support you rendered in the previous Independence celebrations.
“It is in this regard that the committee is appealing for the use of Large City Hall for the Governor’s Independence Ball on 17th April 2013 and White City Stadium for the Independence celebrations. We also request flowers and decoration accessories for the two events.”
The committee raised concern about the electricity use at the Large City Hall and recommended that the government must foot the bill.
Council is using generators to power the Large City Hall, which also houses the mayor’s office, after a fallout with Zesa over unpaid bills.
“Council was unable to offer this as supplies had been disconnected on account of a huge Zesa bill which council was failing to make good at present,” the council committee said.
“Even if the provincial governor’s office could arrange a special reconnection for the event as had happened in the past, the bill would still accrue to council currently battling to contain its costs.”
Councillors also said: “On the other hand, the government had a budget from which it could finance this event and should be able to meet the relevant costs.”
According to the report, the committee resolved to offer the Large City Hall “subject to payment for relevant hire charge in full”.
The request for flowers was also turned down and Mathema’s offices was advised “to approach relevant service providers as this was now outside council’s area of jurisdiction”.