BULAWAYO – Lot Siziba, Councillor for Bulawayo’s Ward 13 (pictured above), has expressed concern over dishonesty levels in today’s leadership, saying that it was a betrayal of the public confidence in office bearers.
Siziba, whose jurisdiction covers Iminyela, Mabuthweni and Pelandaba townships, is serving his second term as an elected Bulawayo councillor and, he is not only a senior member of the city’s policy making body, but was engaged with ZDDT from when the Trust began its work.
“What is lacking in the current crop of leaders is honesty,” Siziba told ZDDT News.
“They (leaders) do not know that there is God who is watching us all. Leadership requires that you do not discriminate against people. The person could be short, tall, Shona, Nyasaranda, whatever tribe; that is totally out. A human being was created by God.”
The councillor, who will be contesting this year’s polls, said the new year looked promising in terms of fundamental freedoms with citizens now freely travelling on the roads without being harassed by the police as was the case during former president Robert Mugabe’s era.
“We are so grateful for that because we have always wanted people to be free,” he said with a warm smile.
He said residents in his ward had already said they want him to continue representing them in Council, adding he has always stood for the people.
“I am not there to line my pockets. People want a councillor who helps them when they have problems, not a councillor who demands bribes when people need assistance,” said Siziba.
“I am a councillor who stands for people in truth because I respect God. I am not going to leave Council until Iminyela and Mabuthweni residents get ownership of their houses in line with the 2010 Council resolution.” Born on November 11, 1938 at Mzimuni, Stanmore, Gwanda, Matabeleland South, Siziba, who is also a headman in his rural home, went to Stanmore and Mzimuni for his primary education before moving to Bulawayo where he completed his Standard 6 at Helemu Primary School in Njube in 1958.
After that he joined the police force and served only for two years before venturing into the world of commerce where he worked at different shops as a cashier and debt collector.
Upon retirement in 2002, he did part time jobs in the city until 2008 when he was elected councillor for Ward 13.
“I was forced by the people in the community to stand for them because I had fought for them to get ownership of those houses before,” explained Siziba.
“People are the ones who are forcing me and even today they are saying they do not want to lose me because they can also lose their houses to the current crop of leaders.”
Married to Prisca Siziba (nee Moyo), Siziba had been blessed with nine children, some of whom are now late.
“My house is in Mabuthweni. I refused to go and stay in other townships because I feared people would lose their houses. I have got people at heart,” he emphasised. The senior citizen councillor said he owed his leadership qualities to ZDDT, adding that, without the trust’s support, he would not have achieved much as a community leader.
He elaborated: “I have been getting good advice from ZDDT; ZDDT has shown us how to be respectful to both the young and the old. ZDDT has also taught us that we must keep our environment clean. ZDDT has taught us how to behave as leaders. ZDDT has told us to be straight forward persons.”
Siziba added that he would forever remain grateful to ZDDT, which empowered him and made his leadership relevant.
“ZDDT has taught me that if there are new developments in the community, I should call for a meeting and explain everything to the people. People will teach me something which I do not know and I can learn from them. This builds up a leader,” said Siziba.
He said he had learned over the years, through association with ZDDT, that proud leaders do not go far because the mandate to lead is from the people, who can recall leaders at any time.