Aspiring councillor for ward 21, Gesomu Zimba of the Movement Democratic for Change Alliance (MDC-A) says councillors must prioritise residents and not their party political agenda.
Presenting his manifesto during an election debate held at Tshabalala Hall convened by the Center for Innovation and Technology (CITE) and Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) Zimba also emphasised the importance of working with residents’ associations as they have the residents’ interests at heart.
Only two candidates turned up, Zimba and Tinevimbo Maposa of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC).
The seat was occupied by Maposa before was recalled in 2020.
Zimba noted that councillors that are elected into office should not push the agenda of their political parties but must engage the community to find out the challenges they need to be addressed.
“Let us put the issue of political parties aside and engage with resident associations because their aim is to develop the ward,” said Zimba.
“Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) and Bulawayo Residents Association (BURA) are on the ground working with the community, so as a councillor, l would need to be working together with residents’ associations as they are able to represent the needs for residents.”
Presenting his election manifesto, Maposa said before he was recalled he was working with the community on various projects.
He noted that he was hoping to continue with the projects once he is voted into office.
“We had a garden in Sizinda whose produce was used to benefit the old and the vulnerable, we are looking forward to having one in Tshabalala as well that will benefit the community,” said Maposa.
“We want to engage with the community and have another secondary school, this will ease the pressure of hot seating in schools.”
Maposa also said he will engage the diaspora for funding and revamp sporting facilities in Tshabalala that will promote leisure activities for young people in the ward.
Attending the election debate, one of the residents in ward 21 noted that the residents there must be a policy that will give them the power to recall councillors who cannot serve the community accordingly.
“We understand that councillors are recalled by their political parties, however, as residents we will need a policy that will state if a councillor is unable to perform their roles, we as residents will be able to recall him and place another councillor in his place,” said the resident.