Bulawayo mayor hits back at Obert Mpofu over ‘growth point’ comments

Solomon Mguni
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BULAWAYO – Bulawayo mayor Solomon Mguni has hit back at Obert Mpofu following claims by the Zanu PF secretary for administration that sitting councillors have turned the city into a growth point.

Speaking while presiding over a full council meeting Wednesday, Mguni said government should abandon its Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP) which he attributed to the city’s deteriorating road network.

“We are meeting today when the city is under immense pressure, assault and insults from our political detractors,” Mguni said in his first full council meeting.

“They have taken every opportunity to twist facts and doctored them to their political advantage.

“One senior Matabeleland North provincial member is being quoted in the state media describing Bulawayo as having turned into a growth point.

“This house must agree with this senior politician that the collapse of the city`s road network in 2021-2022 is attributed to the failure of the central government`s ERRP.

“As the adage goes, statistics don’t lie. 2021-22 saw the erratic or non-disbursement of allocated ZINARA funds, some which were diverted towards the government`s ERRP.”

This saw 18 of Bulawayo roads taken over by the Department of State Roads, CMED and various associated contractors under the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development.

Out of the 18 the roads only three of them were completed, that is Masiyepambali-Njube main road and Masotsha Ndlovu.

Twelve of the said roads are at zero percent.

These are Matopos road 3km stretch, Leopard Takawira 7,8 km stretch, Old Khami Rd 5,3km, Khami 5,2km, Plumtree road 2,8km, Intemba Road 10km, Joshua Mqabuko Road 1,2km, Lobengula Street 1,1km, Cecil Avenue 6,0k; Victoria Falls road 9km and Gwanda Road 9km.

All these roads these twelve roads taken over by government for rehabilitation in 2022 but no progress has since been made on them.

Continued Mguni: “We then have three of the aforesaid eighteen roads that have been partially done but the quality of the work is questionable.

“Five street 2,7km is only 50 percent done, Nketa drive 2,1km is said to be 50 percent but a section of the said road is bleeding in Mpopoma near Hyde Park Road.

“CMED has tried to rectify the problem without success.60 percent of 12th Avenue extension is said to be 60 percent done.

“I call upon this house from across the political divide to speak with one voice as we call upon the central government to disband the ERRP which has had a deleterious effect on the city maintenance road efforts.

“Instead of being an active player government must capitalise local authorities to handle their own roads maintenance units in the spirit of devolution.” – ZimLive