Deal with your corrupt councillors, BPRA tells Chamisa

The Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) has urged the MDC Alliance to act decisively on its corrupt councillors and not impose candidates on people during elections.

In response, MDC Alliance claimed it would conduct an audit of its councils soon.

BPRA Chairperson, Ambrose Sibindi, said if these areas of concern were ‘put right’ the opposition party would rise and attract more support.

Ambrose Sibindi

Giving a brief solidarity message at the MDC Alliance 22th anniversary in Bulawayo over the weekend, Sibindi said the opposition party must have a clear local governance policy.

“The key issues we normally clamour for and make noise about are on local governance. We believe when we adhere to the principles of local governance there must be local involvement of the grassroots for everything to happen,” he said.

“We call upon MDC Alliance to have a clear policy on issues of local governance, as we believe if your policies are clear that’s a way of membership drive on its own.”

Sibindi said it was a disservice for the MDC Alliance to handpick candidates at the expense of experienced candidates.  

“We have since realised that generally there is a feeling or an attitude that is employed when leaders are chosen into different portfolios. People tend to specialise in Members of Parliament and after having the best they say, ‘ok let’s go to councillors’ then pick from here and there. I emphasise they pick and that alone, we believe works against the party,” Sibanda said.

“In Bulawayo, MDC Alliance has more councillors, in other words, it’s a more popular party and as residents, we are saying whilst the party is popular, let’s not abuse residents by giving or imposing some of the leaders that are not pro-people.”

Sibindi underscored that residents wanted people who had a track record of leadership.

“People want to know where they (candidates) come from, people with a clear track record. When I’m looking at a councillor or an MP, I want somebody whose track I can follow and say, ‘no he’s here, he was there,’ not someone who just comes on election time. Yes, if you are popular people will vote for you but have a clear cut policy in terms of local governance,” he said.

In his address, MDC Alliance president, Nelson Chamisa, said indiscipline in the party should go.

“We cannot have a councillor or an MP whose sole objective is to go to council and parliament for self-aggrandizement. That has to go! We are going back to a vow of values, if you don’t belong to our tradition of excellence, service you are not part of us. So BPRA we are doing an audit and we are going to announce it to the people,” Chamisa said.

“Most councillors have deserted us. They pretend to be with us when they want favours from the people but they want to protect trinkets and trappings of the office.”

Chamisa highlighted MDC was not formed for personal benefit, aggrandisement, entitlement and title.

“It is never for having a position or a stand, when you are like that you are not part of us. So as we reflect on 22 years, things have to change. We cannot do the same things over and over again,” said the party leader.

“It might even mean not just a character change, but a mind shift, a heart set shift so that we are a new people, accountable to the ordinary people on the ground that is what we have been. That’s why (one of the late founding MDC leaders, Morgan) Tsvangirai till his death never betrayed the people.”

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