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'Bulawayo wants war,' says Chombo

by Staff reporter
28 Jan 2013 at 05:28hrs | 4496 Views
LOCAL Government minister Ignatius Chombo yesterday claimed Bulawayo City Council had declared war by defying his directives and said he would soon order the local authority to reduce its rates and tariffs.

Addressing a Zanu-PF rally at Stanley Square in Makokoba, Chombo said the MDC-T-controlled council had defied his directive to co-opt special interest councillors.

"Now I will fight back," he said.

Last week, council reportedly ignored a directive to appoint Fidelis Fengu as a special interest councillor for the disabled, resulting in Chombo giving town clerk Middleton Nyoni an ultimatum to swear in Fengu without fail or risk being fired.

However, on the day the swearing-in ceremony was supposed to take place, a Bulawayo resident with disability, Jack Matshazi, obtained a High Court order blocking the function.

Late last year, Chombo set up a special team to investigate the local authority and later ordered a massive slash of rates.

"You should tell the city fathers that street lights are not working, roads need to be repaired and people need market stalls to sell their wares. The council is corrupt. They line their pockets with money you pay for rates," Chombo claimed.

Speaking at the same rally, Youth, Indigenisation and Empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere accused the MDC T-led council of running down the country's second largest city.

"The MDC has destroyed Bulawayo. People cannot even use toilets because there is no water. The city fathers have short-changed people in Bulawayo," said Kasukuwere to thunderous applause from the Zanu-PF supporters.

"People are suffering in this city. When women try and sell their wares to earn a living, they get beaten up by the council police. We must get rid of the MDC in Bulawayo."

He said council had turned Bulawayo into a "village" by drilling boreholes so that people could have access to water.

"Why drill boreholes in town? They think this is Tsholotsho. We want to make sure that there is development in this city," Kasukuwere said.

He accused the council leadership of living lavish lifestyles while residents "wallow in poverty".

Bulawayo mayor Thaba Moyo could not be reached for comment on his mobile phone.

Source - ND
More on: Bulawayo, War, Chombo

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