Byo councillors want to use devolution funds to improve vehicle fleet

Bulawayo councillors want the next disbursement of devolution funds to be used to purchase vehicles to boost the council’s service delivery fleet as the local authority is struggling to provide services to mobility challenges.

The devolution programme is founded on the principle of empowering provincial government councils to spearhead economic and social development projects in their areas.

Speaking during a full council meeting on Wednesday, ward 20 councillor Alderman Ernest Rafamoyo said devolution funds should be channelled towards replenishing the council vehicle fleet next year.

 “We usually complain that the devolution funds should cover the whole city, not just one area, I am asking that in the coming year let us use the devolution funds on our council fleet. We no longer have vehicles,” said Ald Rafamoyo.

He said the shortage of vehicles has seen other departments not being to carry out their duties.

The local authority sometimes goes for weeks without collecting garbage due to a shortage of refuse trucks.

Ward 29 Councillor Alderman Monica Lubimbi said the roads department is one of the most affected departments

“My challenge is that since we have one vehicle in the roads department, the drivers spend the day lazing about because there are no vehicles to Council should look into the roads department, something is going on there,” said Ald Lubimbi.

Meanwhile, ward 27 councillor Alderman Siboniso Khumalo said there is a need for the finance department to release funds earlier so that the local authority is able to purchase spare parts on time.

“Council vehicles are not working, our fleet is seriously depleted, and we are appealing to the finance department to release money earlier to purchase spares so that the vehicles can be fixed,” said Cllr Khumalo.

 He however dismissed the allegations that council employees spend their time idle due to a shortage of vehicles.

“The employees don’t spend time sitting around, if there is no job in your department you will be doing something else,  there is no way they could just sit around and say their vehicle is not working, thus not possible. The drivers exchange vehicles and the council vehicles have no owners,” said Cllr Khumalo.

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