Bulawayo residents say there is a need for competent leaders who are going to address the myriad of challenges faced by the city and bring lasting solutions to the ongoing water crisis.
Residents are currently enduring days without the precious liquid, with the local authority only opening water for a few hours in some suburbs.
This has forced some residents to resort to unprotected water sources to get water for household use.
The city is currently on a 48-hour water shedding programme with indications that it will be increased to 72 hours owing to deteriorating water levels at the city’s supply dams.
There are also reports of increasing diarrhoea cases in the city.
Speaking on This morning on Asakhe on the water crisis in Zimbabwe, a participant Njabulo said politicians are not willing to perform, they just want to take the glory without addressing important issues that are affecting residents on a daily basis.
Another participant said there is a need to de-harmonise elections so that people are able to focus on the local government elections.
“This whole thing of harmonising elections, we are now focusing on the President, interrogating Mnangagwa, Chamisa, Dr Nkosana Moyo and all those presidents but we are no longer interrogating the people on the ground.
“We end up taking anyone because they belong to certain political parties. We end up voting for people imposed on us, people who don’t understand our problems,” he said.
He added that what is needed now are competent people who are going to deliver change in Bulawayo.
He said Zimbabweans are good with planning but implementation is very difficult.
Another speaker, Patience Phiri said there is a need for residents to take responsibility and accountability and accept the leadership they are complaining about because they are the ones who voted for them.
“I want us to get to a point as a people where we start voting for community leaders that are already active in our communities, whom we stay with not party politics, party politics won’t get us anywhere because we are just picking anyone who has no interest in us instead who only give themselves land, enrich themselves and forget about us, we need to go to our next election looking within our own communities,” said Phiri.
She said ministries and councils are not keeping up with the growth and expansion of cities.
“Is someone taking time to look at demand and supply, can we afford this, If we ask Council at the moment how many people are in Bulawayo and what that means in terms of water supply, they will give us census numbers which we are already disputing. I feel that our Ministry and Council does not take residents seriously and we let them do that forgetting that we have the power, we are the ones that put them there.”
“At the moment we are not even told why there is no water, is it maintenance, we are not even told about dam levels, do they even maintain, do we have open days where they call residents to see these dams,” said Phiri.
Another participant, Tiyani Mlilo said the main issue is the leadership.
“We need competent leaders, who will hear what we are saying not only show up when they need our votes. We need leaders who are doing more action than speaking,” said Mlilo.