BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
MDC deputy president Welshman Ncube has warned Bulawayo residents and pressure groups against pushing for a government-appointed commission to the run the city’s affairs, describing the move as misguided and a grave mistake.
Ncube likened the frenzied push to dissolve the MDC-controlled council over poor service delivery and reports of corruption to the 2017 unconstitutional overthrow of former President Robert Mugabe.
Bulawayo city fathers have engaged in a nasty fight for the control of tender and procurement processes, among other “get-rich schemes”, culminating in a failed bid by some councillors to suspend town clerk Christopher Dube.
Government deployed a team to investigate the councillors’ conduct, amid calls by some residents and pressure groups under the Save Bulawayo Campaign banner for the dissolution of council to pave way for a commission to run the city’s affairs.
“We never learn. Less than two years ago, some among us were busy cheering and ululating the unconstitutional overthrow of the Mugabe regime and fantasising that his storm troopers would usher in a new era of democracy and economic prosperity. But here we are, witnessing Bulawayo repeat the same mistake,” Ncube said on Monday.
“Today, a strange coalition of seemingly well-meaning residents and organisations are once again cheering and urging (Local Government minister) July Moyo to do a coup against an elected council and install an unelected commission just because we have been offended by the actions of a tiny minority of the councillors.”
Ncube said it would be folly to think that government will appoint a professional commission for Bulawayo, warning that proponents of such action would get a rude awakened after an “incompetent” team is put in place.
“Whatever are the mistakes we have made as MDC or as councillors, they are all capable of correction and rectification by us within the democratic ethos, without inviting a coup government to do a coup against an elected council.
“After all, the mayor, His Worship Solomon Mguni, had already started the corrective process, both on procedural and substantive issues. In the circumstances, it is a grave mistake to clamour for a negation of the democratic will of the people of Bulawayo as expressed by them, only a year ago,” Ncube added.
Reports said the government probe team had completed its investigations into operations of the city council.
Last week, the MDC leadership summoned BCC councillors to the party headquarters in Harare over the same issue.