BULAWAYO - The Zimbabwe Development Democracy Trust (ZDDT)’s programme, citizen mobilisation and democratic transition, has emboldened and motivated Bulawayo councillors to effectively represent their communities in an effort to improve service delivery.
This is, in itself, an example of democratisation at local government level where the voice of the people is being expressed by their representatives.
During the latest Full Council Meeting, councillors were bold enough to air their displeasure at the poor fire services and the state of roads while demanding action from responsible departments.
For example, Councillor Rodney Jele, Ward 22, complained that nothing was being done by the Engineering Services Department regarding roads which are in a sorry state.
“We are tired, as councillors, of being blamed and accused by residents we represent for not acting on the roads,” said Jele.
Deputy mayor, Tinashe Kambarami, weighed in demanding an explanation why the department was underperforming.
“Is it because they are short-staffed or what,” he queried. Ward 12 councillor, Lilian Mlilo, queried if the department was still there or not, while Councillor Norman Hlabano, Ward 26, demanded that a joint meeting between the Engineering Services and Finance Committees be held soon to chart the way forward.
This is testimony that the ZDDT programme has empowered the city fathers to freely air their views while effectively representing residents through the medium of regular Zone Meetings that are held throughout the city bringing residents, policy makers and administrators together.