Zimbabwe´s Vice-President and minister of health Constantino Chiwenga

VICE-PRESIDENT Constantino Chiwenga yesterday berated the opposition-led Bulawayo City Council (BCC) for allegedly running down the city through corruption and poor service delivery.

Chiwenga made the remarks at a Zanu PF rally at Silwane grounds after leading a clean-up exercise in the city.

“We are saddened by the manner in which our cities and towns have been run down by the opposition-led council. The councils have betrayed the trust given to them by the people by deliberate commission or omission,” he said.

“The opposition political parties were made to believe the fallacy that poor service delivery can be a lethal weapon to agitate the people against their government and ultimately effect regime change, what nonsense is this, what is this stupidity, so stay in dirty environment so that the sitting government must leave, this is the first and last (degree of) stupidity.”

Chiwenga accused city fathers of “grabbing” some council properties and other business ventures for personal gain, financially bleeding the local authority.

“It is indisputable that some suburbs such as Emakhandeni, Entumbane, Magwegwe, Nkulumane and here Pumula were built from resources realised through business ventures run by council such as the once striving beerhalls,” Chiwenga said.

“The businesses created both employment and recreation for the people. Is it not a shame that the current opposition-led council have selfishly decided to rent out the revenue streams to themselves and changed their use? Where is their conscience?”

He also criticised BCC for contracting a foreign-owned company Tendy Three to manage vehicle parking in the city.

“Clearly, there is no guarantee that the revenue collected is ploughed back to improve the lives of our people. Our position is that such tenders should be awarded to local people to empower them and develop a collective sense of ownership and responsibility to run such business,” he said.

Bulawayo residents have been up in arms with the local authority over  vehicle parking charges. Under the deal, motorists have to pay as much as US$400 per month in parking fees.

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