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BPRA weekend activity report: 23-24 March 2013
Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA)
March 25, 2013

This past weekend (23 &24 March 2013), Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) held five consultative meetings in Mpopoma (ward 9), Pelandaba West (Ward 27), Lobengula (Ward 14), Old Magwegwe (ward 18) and Pelandaba (ward 13). The meetings were meant to provide platforms for residents to engage in dialogue with representatives from Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) committees, School Development Committees (SDCs) and Community Planning Committees. The meeting held in Pelandaba West however provided a platform for the residents living in the area to engage in dialogue with the constructors of the houses, Hawkflight Construction on pertinent issues affecting the residents in the area. Residents were also allowed to raise any other issues affecting them at the meetings. Among the issues discussed at the five meetings, the following were prominent:

  • Residents in Pelandaba West accused Hawkflight Construction of corruption after the company penned them letters saying they should pay it money for water despite the fact that the residents pay their monthly water bills to the Bulawayo City Council (BCC). The residents vowed not to pay the monies, which are curiously pegged at $295 for all the residents.
  • Residents complained that the houses built by Hawkflight were substandard as the roofs and the walls absorb water when it rains. They said the company should put measures in place to address this issue at no charge to the people who bought the houses.
  • Residents complained at the meetings that they do not have adequate knowledge on the operations of BEAM committees. They said due to this lack of transparency, there were loopholes in the operations of the scheme hence it was possible for BEAM committees to engage in corruption and enlist children who do not deserve educational assistance. Residents urged BEAM committees to become more accessible to members of the community so that they know procedures for applying and are also kept abreast of what is going on with regards to the scheme.
  • The BEAM committees revealed that there are no permanent BEAM beneficiaries thus custodians of vulnerable children who require assistance with their education have to apply every year.
  • Residents recommended that the BEAM committees should work closely with Child Protection Committees to ensure that deserving children get BEAM assistance. They also said there was a need for more transparency and accountability in the operations of BEAM to ensure that there is no corruption in the selection of beneficiaries.

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