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'Bulawayo now city of destitutes,' says Moyo

by Staff reporter
25 Jan 2013 at 08:52hrs | 5203 Views
Bulawayo, which used to be Zimbabwe's industrial hub just a decade ago, is now a "city of destitute," the city's mayor Thaba Moyo said.

"Currently there has been a rapid increase in the number of homeless people and street children in Bulawayo and my council is very worried about this," he told the Daily News.

He did not give figures.

"This is mainly being caused by high unemployment rate since most companies in the city have shutdown in recent years.

"There are also squatter camps sprouting in some suburbs and those which have been in existence like the one in Killarney suburb are expanding. People cannot afford to pay rentals or to build their own houses because they are out of employment," Moyo said.

Although Bulawayo City Council has been working with some non-governmental organisations (NGO) to build cheaper houses for homeless people, the council is failing to cope because the number is increasing daily.

An estimated 20 000 workers have lost their jobs as several companies in the city have either closed shop, down-sized or relocated to Harare, leaving thousands struggling to eke out a living.

As many as 87 firms have closed shop in the city since 2010.

Once known as "Kontuthu ziyathunqa" for the bellowing smoke over its industrial districts, Bulawayo at one point accounted for 75 percent of the country's manufacturing output, but now it has been dubbed a "sadza economy", with restaurants and flea markets accounting for most of the city's income generating projects. 

Source - Destitute,Bulawayo
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