The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has instructed Bulawayo councillors to hold weekly feedback meetings with residents in their respective wards to promote transparency and accountability.
The meetings would give residents an opportunity to interface with MDC councillors on development projects in their wards.
“The councillors don’t need to agree; it is an instruction and this is the correct way of doing things. This is a not a dialogue it is an instruction from the party,” said Chamisa in an interview with CITE.
The MDC leader said he had interfaced with various stakeholders in Bulawayo who expressed reservations at the conduct of some the councillors.
Recently, some councillors led by the Deputy Mayor Tinashe Kambarami had a physical altercation with the Town Clerk Christopher Dube before throwing him out of his office as they attempted to suspend him from his duties on allegations of corruption.
“I had an engagement with councillors after meeting the residents, where the residents told me a lot of issues. They said they are unhappy with a lot of issues – generally the humility of councillors to be able to explain their positions to residents and mixing politics with service delivery,” he noted.
The MDC leader urged councillors to on service delivery.
“That distinction has to be there but we must be clear about it. There are also a lot of good things done by the councillors because when they gave me a report, the Bulawayo City Council has done a lot of fantastic projects. They are doing a wonderful thing but there is no communication of the good things because the bad is overwhelming the good,” he said.
It is on this basis that Chamisa tasked his councillors to put in place mechanisms of explaining and interfacing with residents through compulsory feedback meetings.
“In fact, we’ve now made meetings with the residents compulsory. For Members of Parliament, the meeting will be held once a month. For councillors, the meetings are to be done almost weekly in town halls. This is to show the distinction of an alternative councillor in the MDC. We must not be like be Zanu PF, where officials go away without official leave,” he said.
Chamisa also tasked the councillors to have clear projects and infrastructure master plans for the city.
“We want to be able to deliver on the party’s smart city agenda,” he said.
On the status of the Bulawayo City Council, the MDC leader described the previous week’s squabbles as minor.
“Well I can’t give an assessment but I can only give you the factual position. There have been problems and I think they are minor because no problem is too big to be resolved. The problems are to do with communication, procedure and understanding regulations. But also the problems are to do with corruption, whether they are accusations or what, they are accusations against the Bulawayo town clerk (Christopher Dube),” Chamisa highlighted.
He added counter-accusations had been made by the town clerk and those issues would be investigated in a proper manner.
“But also the conduct of some of our councillors must also be a cause for censure and correction. We don’t expect that kind of exchanges we saw between the technical people and policymakers. It is undesirable and those are some of the things we are dealing with internally,” Chamisa summed.