BULAWAYO City Council and its councillors must hang their heads in shame at their failure to provide basic services.
The sad reality chronicled in the latest council minutes that some residents in Magwegwe North Extension are resorting to relieving themselves in paper bags due to a lack of ablution facilities is shocking.
How is this happening in the city that prides itself as the most efficiently run and smartest local authority in the country? It boggles the mind how people occupied the houses even before full servicing was completed or why the authorities let that happen.
It cannot be that the council was not aware of what is happening. Here is what Alderman Monica Lubimbi said in the council chambers.
“Some properties did not even have toilets and the occupants were resorting to the use of plastics and then dump their human waste at illegal dumpsites. There was a need to increase the number of community sweepers,” she said.
Chamber secretary Sikhangele Zhou says the residents of Magwegwe North Extension must vacate their properties as council does not allow people to occupy buildings without ablution facilities.
“If they do not have occupation certificates, then they should not occupy the houses. The town clerk (Christopher Dube) advised that council was in the process of crafting a new policy relating to cleaning and maintenance of individual properties, including their surroundings,” she said.
So, how did the residents come to occupy the clearly uncompleted buildings? Who approved the buildings?
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The situation in Magwegwe North Extension is a recipe for an outbreak of water borne diseases and the council must act now, and fast to address the anomaly especially this time when it is raining.
Bulawayo has shown that it is prone to waterborne diseases as a result of poor management of its water infrastructure.
In 2019, over 1 000 people were treated after contracting diarrhoea, while 13 others died after they consumed contaminated tap water.
The situation appears to be deteriorating and the city is becoming more of a death trap.
When it comes to collecting money from the residents, the council is very quick to act, but when it comes to service delivery, it is clear that it has been found wanting in almost every area.
The council says ratepayers currently owe the council $30 billion and blames its poor service delivery on ratepayers.
The city fathers cannot keep playing this blame game when lives are at stake.