Cowdray Park deserves the devolution funds: residents

Residents in Cowdray Park said the ward is justified to receive more money set aside for devolution, insisting that the suburb was behind in terms of infrastructural development.

In October, city councillors made noise after council management made a decision to channel more than ZWL$1.1 million to Cowdray Park, saying it was least developed hence the need for it to be prioritised.

However councillors under the opposition MDC, claimed the suburb was “favoured” since it was under a Zanu PF councillor, Kidwell Mujuru.

But residents from Cowdray Park insist the ward deserves the money more than other wards in Bulawayo.

“We are aware other councilors from other wards were against Cowdray Park receiving the bulk of devolution funds but the truth of the matter is our ward faces more problems than the rest. Other wards may want to rehabilitate their roads from the funds but Cowdray Park does not even have roads yet.

“We do even have toilets and now we have to carry umbrellas when we want to relieve ourselves,” said a resident Edward Nhare at a public interface meeting organised by the Women Institute for Leadership Development (WILD) at Cowdray Park primary school, Tuesday.

The meeting was to discuss the implementation of devolution.

Nhare added that new stands in Cowdray Park alone had more than 15 000 households, which posed a logistical challenge to planning.

“There have been several meetings on improving water and sewer systems in Bulawayo and the engineers acknowledge that Cowdray Park must be given priority under these projects. Take for instance, the Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle stands, which have more than 15 000 housing units excluding old stands,” he said.

Other residents concurred that councilors must not politicise council issues but think of development.

“Our challenge is we think about politics all the time, no wonder some councillors thought the money was a favour for Mujuru,” said Anele Nkomo.

“As it is, we are not connected to the city’s sewer outflow system, as council told some residents to finish the construction process on their own.”

Another resident, Nomagugu Mpofu, added that devolution matters should be discussed at a community levels, as people in lower structures are the ones who understand their challenges better.

“Discussions must start at grassroots level as we the people know exactly what we want. We don’t want to be told what to do because that would defeat the purpose of devolution,” she said.

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