The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has backtracked on its earlier remarks that the manner in which Luveve residents stored their water could have led to an outbreak of Diarrhoea in the suburb.
Luveve residents are livid with the local authority following the death of 13 people after consuming contaminated water.
On Monday, a council delegation led by the Mayor Councillor Solomona Mguni visited the suburb to extend their condolences to the bereaved families and the affected ones.
Ward 1 Councillor Mlandu Ncube said the council acknowledged that their utterances did not sit well with the people.
“We do acknowledge that the situation became volatile. Due to the turn of events it became difficult for even the councillor to come out in the open and interact with the residents because of the raging tempers. We do admit that the source of conflict between the council and Luveve residents was the statement that was made with regards to the dirty water containers,” said Cllr Ncube.
One of the residents who were visited, Chrispen Ngulube, grilled the delegation over their ‘insensitive’ communication.
Ngulube noted the residents of Bulawayo have never been mistreated by the council in the manner they were at a time when they needed the council’s assistance the most.
“The fact that you communicate through the press that the containers we use to store our water are dirty. Honestly is that objective? Is there anyone who made that analysis that all the residents in the ward have dirty containers? That statement on its own is the worst level of disrespect. If the council had nothing to say at that moment it would have been better for it to keep quiet,” he chided.
“What is important is the approach when dealing with sensitive issues such as this one. Bulawayo prides itself in humanity and such conduct is unacceptable especially from the city fathers. We have never in the history of the city been given a deaf ear by the council where we keep being tossed from one office to another. Could all these problems be a result of the crop of councillors we have now?”
Ngulube added that opportunists will take advantage of such a situation to win over the people and push their own agendas.
“They will be viewed as a sign of weak leadership. Opportunists will use this situation to win people over. A person in need is always ready to receive help regardless of where it is coming from.”
The local authority says it is yet to establish the source of the contamination.