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Council requires $1M to repair vandalised infrastructure

THE Bulawayo City Council (BCC) says it may require $1million to restore infrastructure and amenities, which include water pumping equipment that was destroyed by protestors during last month’s shutdown protests.

So far, the local authority is working with a budget of US$300 000 that is needed to repair the infrastructure.

BCC town clerk, Christopher Dube said most of the infrastructure destroyed during the protests were mainly road infrastructure which included road signs, traffic lights and road cables.

“Altogether what we have calculated so far a total of US$300 000 that was lost but the cost could rise higher than a million dollars,” he said.

At the moment, some parts of Bulawayo have no road signs, traffic lights and the town clerk said that was causing a lot of confusion.

“You can imagine the confusion that is brought about by that having no traffic lights or signs,” Dube highlighted.

Besides road infrastructure, service provision was hampered, as both operations and council workers were immobilised.

“There was interference of service provision that was caused by the three days of rioting. We were very much affected during the maintenance side such as pumping of water and when we started operations we lost some of our pumping equipment and is broken down as we speak (sic). We are water shedding…,” said the town clerk.

Dube also expressed disappointment that residents had lost ‘ubuntu’ and acted irrationally seen by their disruption of critical emergency services.

“As a local authority we are worried as to what has happened to people of Bulawayo because ubuntu escaped us during the three days of rioting because the residents interfered with services such as ambulances and fire services,” he said.

The council also received false fire alarms during the shutdown period.

“Two of them were of good intent because residents had seen fire around them and reported but of course there were false reports, for malicious intent with intention of causing confusion in fire services,” Dube said.

The government has already set in motion plans to compensate some of the businesses that were affected during the protests.

Finance Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said during a recent tour of Bulawayo that government would provide about $19.5 million to the affected businesses.

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