FORMER Bulawayo councillors have said the power struggle at City Hall involving MDC councillors is a result of skewed local government election processes.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
The aldermen said local government elections should be de-harmonised from the parliamentary and presidential polls as was the case in the past to ensure elected council officials are of good standing.
They argued that harmonised elections processes tend to shield aspiring councillors from public scrutiny in terms of their standing, criminal record, among others, because they tend to hide under umbrella political jackets.
This emerged at an all stakeholders meeting organised by the Bulawayo Progressive Residents’ Association (BPRA) in the city centre on Friday last week to discuss the goings-on at the Bulawayo City Council (BCC).
“You can tell things have gone bad from the endless chaos emanating from council, partly because of these harmonised elections. We used to have separate local government elections to allow residents to study the calibre of aspiring councillors, and do backgrounds checks on their criminal records, among others,” Alderman Thaba Moyo said.
“These (dubious) characters now hide behind party symbols, but their true characters always come out as is the case now. We need to go back to that elections system to correct a situation where dubious characters get elected into office.”
Former Alderman and Senator Matson Hlalo added: “One could now just be a councillor from nowhere without having a property, for example, as a way of ensuring that elected officials are not corrupt and thirsty for stands and other properties.
“The people of Bulawayo do not deserve the leaders they have now. Civic groups must do advocacy campaigns and voter education campaigns to make residents aware of the calibre of aspiring councillors to be elected into office. Those councillors with the interests of the city at heart, not interests of grabbing tenders (should be elected).”
All has not been well at the council after deputy mayor Tinashe Kambarami suspended town clerk Christopher Dube (pictured) on allegations of mismanagement and corruption.
Government has since deployed a probe team to investigate Kambarami and other councillors actions that led to Dube being suspended against laid down procedures as guided by the Urban Councils Act.