Wednesday, 18 September 2019

FACTIONAL FIGHTS TEARING BYO COUNCIL APART


THE Bulawayo City Council was on Monday forced to postpone the second supplementary budget and 2020 budget announcement due to factional fighting between MDC Alliance councillors which is now affecting operations at the local authority.

The meeting could not take place as councillors failed to make a quorum as the majority of them allegedly boycotted it. Only 11 out of 29 councillors were present, thus the meeting failed to meet the quorum of 15 City Fathers to be in attendance for council business to be conducted.

Acting Town Clerk, Mrs Sikhangele Zhou, yesterday confirmed that the meeting failed to take place despite the councillors having been notified through the official council communication channels. 

She said she was not aware of the reasons behind the boycott. Mayor Clr Solomon Mguni declined to comment.

However, one of the MDC Alliance councillors confirmed that some of their colleagues boycotted the meeting as a result of raging factional fights at the City Hall.

“This is part of the broader squabbles within the MDC Alliance in Bulawayo. Recently, we elected new committee chairpersons so there were divisions over the elected new councillors based on divisions in the party. Some of the losing aspiring committee members are still bitter as they wanted to cling on to committees which gave them control over important council businesses even tender processes. So we can say the councillors who boycotted the budget meeting are sabotaging new teams so that they fail in their duties. Remember nothing sails without approval of the full council,” said the councillor. 

Finance and Development Committee chairperson Clr Mlandu Ncube said there was no consensus among councillors in the running of the city’s affairs.

“What I can say is that some councillors seem to think they have better things than running council’s business yet it’s the reason why they were elected to office,” said Clr Ncube.

Bulawayo Progressive Residents’ Association (BPRA) coordinator Mr Emmanuel Ndlovu said it was disturbing that councillors were using council to fight their political battles.

He said residents are already low on confidence in both councillors and management following the recent fracas involving Town Clerk Mr Christopher Dube and expelled Deputy Mayor, Tinashe Kambarami.

“Their petty political fights should not rob residents of their deserved service delivery. If they are personalising council decision-making processes which are supposed to be transparent, consultative, inclusive and deliberative I think it’s quite regrettable and points to leadership failure that we have always raised,” said Mr Ndlovu. Chronicle

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