BEITBRIDGE has the potential to become a model port city in Africa, “with high-rise buildings and spaghetti roads” if city authorities and councillors commit themselves to work for the people and shun corruption, MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has said.
BY REX MPHISA
Addressing thousands of supporters during a “Thank You” rally in the border town at the weekend, Chamisa said corruption was a cancer that impeded development.
He warned councillors voted into office on an MDC Alliance ticket that they would be shown the door if they are caught up in cases of graft.
“We can build a model port city at Beitbridge. We can build one of the best cities in Africa here. We can have a port city better than towns in South Africa. We can show the world what we are capable of at Beitbridge,” he said.
“This is possible if we shun corruption and dedicate ourselves to work for the people who voted for us. Our party will recall all councillors accused of corruption and I urge all the MDC Alliance-run local authorities to serve the people well.”
Chamisa told the nearly 4 000-strong crowd that the party was setting up a hotline for people to report any corrupt activities by party officials.
“We are putting a hotline for people to report all corrupt activities by our councillors. We will not tolerate corruption and we will fire all those accused of corruption,” Chamisa said.
The MDC Alliance made a clean sweep of the local government elections in Beitbridge, a strategic town linking South Africa with other landlocked Sadc countries.
“I am here to thank you. I am different from those who win and you will see them when the next election is around the corner,” he said.
Chamisa asked the Beitbridge council to work towards construction of an international airport, having a university, upgraded hospitals and ultimately be declared a city.
He said Beitbridge was the window of the country to South Africa and must be dressed as such.
He maintained his party was robbed of victory it attained in the last election, but the ruling Zanu PF would eventually surrender after failing to unlock the economy.
“The signs are there everywhere. I have told them to leave gracefully. They don’t know what to do. I have all the answers to create employment, to create a vibrant industry, to make this country work,” he said.
He made a veiled attack on corrupt council officials who concentrated efforts on their properties at the expense of service delivery, saying their days were numbered.
“How does your place become the only one which is shining and yet all others are struggling,” he said in an apparent reference to a Beitbridge council official accused of diverting a road to pass through his business venture while most roads in the town were in a sorry state.