Mpopoma by-election: Elderly plight on the spotlight

The MDC -T Ward 9 aspiring councillor John Gasela says he will focus on the welfare of pensioners when voted into power as young politicians often ignore their concerns.

Speaking during the Election debate series held, Friday, by the Center for Innovation and Technology (CITE) and the Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) at Mpopoma Hall, Gasela said there were many issues that needed attention in the ward.

Two aspiring candidates, Donaldson Mabuto and Gasela managed to attend the debate series while other aspiring candidates, David Ncube from APP, Lovemore Mnyamana from Zanu-PF and Philisani Ncube from LEAD were absent.

The ward became vacant following the recall of Mabuto by the then MDC-T leader Thokozani Khuphe in 2020.

“I am asking to represent you as residents, I `have been representing you under the residents’ association for some years and I am sure no one doubts my capability. I want to represent you because I have noticed several things which are not being handled well. Property owners in Mpopoma will testify that we have exorbitant bills as residents and we don’t know the reason behind those bills,” said Gasela.

He added that when elected as a Councilor he will fight for the rights of the elderly whom he said are often neglected.  

“Old people have to be treated differently compared to young people but I realize that when we elect our candidates, we don’t consider who we are electing and how old they are, and how they will behave.

“Yes it is okay to vote for young people but I have a concern with the young people, when elected and get to the Council chambers, they easily get bribed because they have no house, stand, they don’t own anything, his needs are all over, what do you think that person will do, thus the reason why most of the things are not handled well because they think of their interest,” said Gasela.

He added, “As an aspiring candidate, I have a house which I got in 1969, I am not looking for employment, I am not looking for a stand but my wish is to do  my best for the residents.”

Gasela said he will also look into the issue of continuous burst sewer pipes in ward 9.

“Every day we walk around the streets filled with overflowing sewer but we have councillors, there is no assistance that we are seeing, they are being compromised,” he said.

He added that he will advocate for a revenue hall in the suburb so that old people can go and pay their bills instead of going to the Revenue Hall in the City centre.

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