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BPRA weekend activity report: 24 February 2013
Residents Association (BPRA)
February 25, 2013
This past weekend
(Sunday 24 February 2013), Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association
(BPRA) held two consultative meetings at Mpopoma Hall (ward 9) and
McDonald's Hall in Mzilikazi (ward 8). The meetings were meant
to provide platforms for critical debate on issues of service delivery
in the respective wards. The councillors for the wards were expected
at the meetings. For the Mzilikazi meeting however, the councillor
did not manage to attend the meeting. The meeting was thus turned
into a platform for residents to voice their concerns on various
issues of service delivery so that follow up (in the form of advocacy
and lobbying) can be done by the BPRA secretariat. In Mpopoma, the
councillor was present and the meeting progressed as planned with
residents engaging with the councillor.
The major issues
arising at the meetings were as follows:
revealed that some tower lights in Mzilikazi were not working,
something that had led to an upsurge in muggings in the area.
They called upon the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) to repair the
tower lights with urgency.
expressed concern with the local authority's billing system
arguing that their bills were inflated. They based their argument
on realisations that their bills had remained at the same levels
they were on before the commencement of water shedding in July
- In Mpopoma,
residents called upon the city council to ensure that people who
are awarded tenders to lease out BCC owned shops employ residents
from the area. They argued that this was the only way for the
community to benefit from shops that are located in it due to
the fact that residents in the area cannot afford to lease the
shops out themselves.
also expressed dismay with the state of West Park Cemetery. They
said the cemetery was not well maintained and said there was urgent
need for BCC to deploy workers to maintain the grave site. It
was agreed that the BPRA secretariat should pen a letter to the
local authority's director of health requesting that such
maintenance work be immediately carried out.
- Youths present
at the meetings bemoaned the fact that the youth clubs in Bulawayo
were not functioning. They said there was urgent need for the
clubs to be resuscitated so that young people can engage their
time in useful activities as opposed to loitering in the streets
and shops drinking alcohol. The youth also requested to be given
pieces of land to engage in developmental projects.
from Thokozani Flats in Mzilikazi revealed that they share electricity
meters with their neighbours, a situation that had become problematic
since the installation of prepaid meters. They said it was difficult
for two families to agree on the amounts to spend per month on
electricity especially in situations whereby one household uses
more electricity than the other. They called upon ZESA to address
- The issue
of Bulawayo's water crisis was discussed extensively at
both meetings, with residents reaching a consensus that the onus
was on the government and BCC to increase water supply to the
city through completion of the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project,
building of new dams and through various medium term strategies
such as duplication of the Insiza pipeline and fully harnessing
water from Mtshabezi Dam.
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